Soft sell

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In advertising, a soft sell is an advertisement or campaign that uses a more subtle, casual, or friendly sales message. This approach is the diametric counterpart of a hard sell.

Theorists have examined the value of repetition for soft sell versus hard sell messages, in order to determine their relative efficacy. Frank Kardes and others have concluded that a soft sell, with an implied conclusion rather than an overt hard sell, can often be more persuasive.[1] Soft sell is also less likely to be irritating to consumers[citation needed].

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Kardes, Frank; Cronley, Maria; Cline, Thomas (2014). Consumer Behavior. Cengage Learning. p. 212. ISBN 1305161688.


  • Herbert E. Krugman. An Application of Learning Theory to TV Copy Testing. The Public Opinion Quarterly, Vol. 26, No. 4 (Winter, 1962), pp. 626–634
  • Frank R. Kardes. Spontaneous Inference Processes in Advertising: The Effects of Conclusion Omission and Involvement on Persuasion. The Journal of Consumer Research, Vol. 15, No. 2 (Sep., 1988), pp. 225–233
  • David A. Aaker, Donald E. Bruzzone. Causes of Irritation in Advertising. Journal of Marketing, Vol. 49, No. 2 (Spring, 1985), pp. 47–57
  • Frank R. Kardes, Maria Cronley, Thomas Cline. Consumer Behavior, p. 212