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Embodied Product Perception: Effects of Verticality Cues in Advertising and Packaging Design on Consumer Impressions and Price Expectations


Correspondence regarding this article should be sent to: Thomas J. L. van Rompay, Department of Industrial Design Engineering, University of Twente, P.O. Box 217, 7500 AE, Enschede, The Netherlands (


As consumers increasingly turn to luxury brands and associated benefits, brand managers face the question how to convey luxury perceptions via marketing communications such as packaging and advertising design. Inspired by theories addressing embodied cognition and symbolic meaning portrayal, this paper argues that visual cues inspiring verticality perceptions (i.e., camera angle and advertising background orientation) affect luxury perceptions and, consequently, consumer evaluations and price expectations. Across three experiments, verticality cues fostered perceptions of product luxury but differentially affected price expectations and purchase considerations depending on product type. Moreover, findings show that effects of vertical orientation are more pronounced for participants high on sociable dominance. Implications of these findings for visual brand management are discussed.