Social Judgment/Involvement Theory of Starbucks

The social judgment/involvement theory is established by how an individual perceives a persuasive message, as well as the individual’s attitude before the persuasive message and then after experiencing the message. Three latitudes can define the individual’s attitude; these latitudes are acceptance, non-commitment and rejection. Social judgment/involvement theory is measured on a number line of -3 to +3 with zero being neutral or unresponsive to the persuasive message being conveyed to the audience. The individual decides how persuasive the message is, and where their anchor point (attitude) is positioned on the number line; this is known as the latitude of acceptance. Once the latitude of acceptance is conveyed, latitudes of non-commitment are formed on both sides of the latitude of acceptance. Latitudes of non-commitment are produced when an individual somewhat disagrees with their own anchor point. If the individual disagrees too much with their attitude, the latitude of rejection is formed.

In this evaluation, I have chosen to apply a Starbucks commercial to the social judgment/involvement theory. While I am a supporter of Starbucks, I do feel it is over priced and often times unnecessary to purchase. When applying this Starbucks commercial to social judgment/involvement theory I will have -3 be in no support of Starbucks while +3 is in strong support of Starbucks. I will place my anchor point at a +0.5. I do support Starbucks; nevertheless I do believe it is rather overpriced compared to cups of coffee I can buy for .99 cents at other competing coffee stores such as Dunkin Donuts. My anchor point (+0.5) is my latitude of acceptance, and just beyond my latitude of acceptance lays my latitude of non-commitment. This measures from about -2.5 to +2.5 with everything outside of -2.5 and +2.5 being my latitude of rejection. After watching the Starbucks commercial I would rate my acceptance towards the message positively in my latitude of non-commitment. Which in my case makes it more probable that I will end up being persuaded by the commercial, which is good for Starbucks. They want people that are neither here nor there on a topic. These are usually the people that are more easily persuaded either way, because they have no strong feeling negatively nor positively towards the topic.

I feel that this message has had a persuasive outcome for me being a coffee/tea addict. I get coffee on my way to school from Dunkin Donuts around 3-4 times a week because it is the only place on the way (convenient factor). I am dissatisfied with the coffee most times, they can never seem to get my order how I like, and I feel most of this is due to the inexpensiveness of their product, they don’t really care because it’s cheap. Although Starbuck is more costly than Dunkin, I am never dissatisfied. The commercial I have chosen shows that to Starbucks its not just a cup of coffee it’s a brand, and the quality of their product is above all. When I get coffee from Dunkin Donuts I’m convinced their idea of a cup of coffee is two parts sugar one part cream with a splash of coffee (this is after I say very light sweetener and cream). Overall their product and execution is superior to their competitors, which comes at a price. After analyzing this commercial and applying the social judgment/involvement theory I am aware that I have been persuaded by this advertisement that although Starbucks is more expensive the quality is higher than that of its competitors, but that like everything else comes at a price.

Danielle Bishop

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