Alliteration Alters: Phonetic Overlap in Promotional Messages Influences Evaluations and Choice

Derick F. Davis, Rajesh Bagchi, Lauren G. Block

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Alliteration is the repetition of initial word sounds across two or more proximal words. Alliterative pricing presentations consisting of words (brand or product names) and numbers (price and quantity information) can influence evaluations, choice, and purchase behavior. We provide evidence that alliterative pricing promotions can positively influence deal evaluations and product choice; for example, "Two T-shirts $21" elicits more positive evaluations from consumers than does "Two T-shirts $19," even though the latter pricing presentation is objectively better. We suggest phonological (word sound) overlap present in alliteration facilitates message processing, which in turn results in more positive judgments and deal evaluations and influences choice. Our findings build theory while presenting clear managerial implications for marketing communications and pricing decisions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Retailing
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 2016


  • Number psychology
  • Phonetics
  • Pricing
  • Promotions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Marketing


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