Hard sell

Hard sell

In advertising, a hard sell is an advertisement or campaign that uses a more direct, forceful, and overt sales message, in opposition to a soft sell.

Theorists have examined the value of repetition for hard sell versus soft sell messages to determine their relative efficacy. Kardes and others have concluded that a soft sell with an inferred conclusion rather than an overt hard sell can often be more persuasive.


  • 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

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