||Because of healing power, many companies frequently promote products with cute elements to catch students and office workers’ attention and increase product sales. In previous research, the relative effective of different cute style is rarely discussed. Also, whether cuteness does evoke healing feeling is rarely proofed. Therefore, this study focuses on the effects of cute elements, trying to prove the cause of healing feeling and examine the healing effect on product attitude and purchase intention. Further, cuteness is classified into two types to compare the healing effects of different cute type. One is baby cuteness which increases caretaking behavior and has positive characteristics, such as Winnie the Pooh and Kanahei. The other is whimsical cuteness which is funny and has negative characteristics, such as Jake and Usavich. Moreover, this study analyzes the possible moderation of product type and the camera angle of cute animators pictured on the product. |
Based on cute research, attention restoration theory, hedonic contingency theory, hedonic or utilitarian consumption and schema theory, this research used two experiment methods to test 8 hypotheses. Experiment 1 was conducted with a 3(product with cute elements: baby cuteness vs. whimsical cuteness vs. not cute) x2(product type: hedonic vs. utilitarian) between-subjects design. Experiment 2 was conducted with a 3(product with cute elements: baby cuteness vs. whimsical cuteness vs. not cute) x2(camera angle: downward vs. eye-level vs. upward) between-subjects design.
The analytical results indicate that: (1) A product with cute elements, especial baby cuteness, would raise the degree of healing feeling and trigger better product attitude and purchase intention. (2) Utilitarian goods strengthen the positive healing effect of cute elements (vs. not cute) and hedonic goods strengthen the positive healing effect of baby cuteness (vs. whimsical cuteness). (3) Showing the cute animators with downward camera angle weakens the positive healing effect of cute elements (vs. not cute), but strengthens the positive healing effect of baby cuteness (vs. whimsical cuteness).
The results of this research add the understanding of the relationship between cuteness and healing feeling. Moreover, the findings define the types of cuteness more clearly and clarify the difference in healing effects between two cute styles. In theoretical contributions, this research not only replenishes the research about cute elements in product type, schema theory, and attention restoration theory but also explains the cause of healing feeling. For practitioners, the research results provide practical suggestions on how to design products by combining cute elements to generate better effects.