Australia’s Toilet Paper Frenzy Is Really Just Behavioural Science In Action

Australia’s Toilet Paper Frenzy Is Really Just Behavioural Science In Action
SHARE
THIS



In this guest post, Atomic 212°’s co-founder and chief digital officer James Dixon (pictured below) says, beyond the chaos, Australia’s toilet paper pandemic is merely a classic case of behavioural science…

In media mix models, the past is a solid a predictor of the future, and then BAM, a virus hits the global stage and we are set for a significant disruption to economics and flow through to marketing.

In the midst of this, it is fascinating to observe real life examples of behavioural economics dramatically overtake rational thinking and marketers can observe first hand the consumer defaulting to system one thinking in an exponential manner.

The rational system two brain should seek empirical science at this time, and I offer this by way of the graphs provided by https://elm.nsupdate.info/virus/#world, where data is taken from government issued statistics and modelled out to show the virus is closely following a traditional S curve and set to level out and dissipate in the next 30 days.

The irrational system 2 brain however. is running off with a scarcity mindset and is highly concerned about toiletry functions. I confess to have fallen into this trap despite past data and giving a strong indication that we will all be fine.

As quoted here: https://www.behavioraleconomics.com/resources/mini-encyclopedia-of-be/scarcity-heuristic/

‘When an object or resource is less readily available , we tend to perceive it as more valuable (Cialdini, 2008). Scarcity appeals are often used in marketing to induce purchases. Marketing messages with limited quantity appeals are thought to be more effective than limited time appeals, because they create a sense of competition among consumers (Aggarwal et al., 2011). An experiment (Lee & Seidle, 2012) that used wristwatch advertisements as stimuli exposed participants to one of two different product descriptions “Exclusive limited edition. Hurry, limited stocks” or “New edition. Many items in stock”. They then had to indicate how much they would be willing to pay for the product. The average consumer was willing to pay an additional 50 per cent if the watch was advertised as scarce.

Whilst the virus is undoubtably a cause for concern it is a fascinating example of the above, where a curiously low value survival item has been elevated to a status above water, food and common courtesy in the shopping aisle.

Please login with linkedin to comment

Atomic 212 coronavirus

Latest News

Berlin, Germany - 05 28 2016:  Apple iPhone 6s screen with social media applications Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Google, Youtube, Snapchat, Vimeo, LinkedIn, Pinterest, WhatsApp etc.
  • Opinion

Social Media: Does Its Value Equal The Hype?

In his first post for 2021, B&T regular Robert Strohfeldt points his magnifying glass at digital media’s hype and argues it’s possibly not cracked up to all it purports to be… In the past few months, I have seen many CVs of young graduates seeking a career in marketing and/or advertising.  I could fool myself […]

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Integrated Marketing Agency, McCorkell, Wins Spot In Global Rainfocus Partner Program
  • Marketing
  • Technology

Integrated Marketing Agency, McCorkell, Wins Spot In Global Rainfocus Partner Program

B2B marketing agency McCorkell has announced that it has been appointed an official Asia-Pacific partner of RainFocus, the next-generation event marketing and management platform. The collaboration will see both companies come together to shake up the end-to-end event service model across APJ. “As the only true integrated event marketing and management platform servicing everything from […]