The origin of placebo word comes from the Latin language in
the 18th century, which means “I shall please”.   A medical doctor gives an unbeknownst pill
that is the kind of sugar pill to a patient. This is called placebo. After
taking the pill that improves the patient’s health because the patients’
beliefs and expectations about the treatment can effectively change their
health. This is called placebo effect. Stewart-Williams and Podd, 2004 defined
“A placebo is a substance or procedure that has no inherent power to produce an
effect that is sought or expected. A placebo effect is a genuine psychological
or physiological effect, in a human or another animal, which is attributable to
receiving a substance or undergoing a procedure, but is not due to the inherent
powers of that substance or procedure.”

Numerous researches showed that placebo effect appears to be
very good model to understand in medical domains can cure mental and physical
illness. Such as De Pascalis et al., (2000) demonstrated on
the efficacy of Bogus analgesic cream to decreased induced finger pain revealed
that a placebo analgesic had the same effect as real cream through response
expectancy. Another studies showed that placebo ultrasound reduced facial
swelling in dental surgery (Ho et al., (1988). Believable placebo can heal not
only in pain, but in cardiovascular disease (Bienenfeld et al., 1996) and
depression (Kirsch and Sapirstein, 1999). A roomy research of placebo effect
have evaluated a diversity of magical remedies, such as snake oil, lizard’s
blood (Ross and Olson,1981; Shapiro and Shapiro, 1997) and
placebo herbal cures are known that increase the actual remedy’ efficacy.

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The novel phenomenon that “placebo
effects of marketing” illustrated by Shiv, Carmon, and Ariely (2005), they
referred the marketing placebo effect as “the influence of consumers’ beliefs
and expectations, affected by subjective experiences in their daily lives, on
product judgments and services”. Shiv et al. (2005) demonstrated price placebo
of marketing in their study that consumers expect poor quality from a
lower-priced energy drink option, which influenced a lower puzzle-solving
objective performance. As per their experimental study, price discounts
marketing actions leads to the placebo effect. They documented that
nonconscious expectations about price changes and advertising claims can alter
the actual efficacy of the marketed products and consumers’ actual performance
on puzzle-solving tasks. Support for their experimental, preliminary studied
had illustrated in which 38 members of fitness center were consumed the energy drink
with discount and regular price. Preliminary studies result showed that
discount group members rated their intensity of workout as lower than did those
who consumed regular conditioned participants. Evidence from their preliminary
studies suggested that discounts price of the products can lead to the
performance effect through the well-known placebo effect. Actually the price
for a good has totally no relationship to its actual efficacy, but consumers’
nonconscious beliefs and expectations about the goods’ price–quality
relationship change their actual experience with the good. In their next three
sections of experimental actions, they researched not only on the price-quality
association by beliefs and expectations of marketing actions but also on the role
of undesirable placebo effect from price discounts. Firmly constructed with
several aspects in their experimental actions, they used a 2(price: regular
versus discounted) x 2 (expectancy strength: high versus low) between subjects
design.  In their three experimental, 128
participants consumed Sobe energy drink purported to increase mental acuity
solved by a series of word-jumble puzzles. Half of the participants got 89$
energy drinks in the discount price condition, and other half participants got
1.89$ in the regular price conditions. The result of study showed that not
only did participants anticipate that the full priced  energy drink would be more effective than the
participants in discounted price, but they also completed more solving the
puzzles after consuming the drink.  In
their experimental studies, they found either the association between price and
quality the products or price affected the actual efficacy of the products
indeed. 

Leading to that cues, Waber et al.,
(2008) conducted in their double-blind experiment
that half members spend a new certified opioid analgesic with regular price of
$2.50 per pill and the other half spend discount price of $0.10 per pill. The
discounted price participants got lower pain tolerance than the regular price
participants.

Indeed, Marketing Placebo Effects
go far beyond expectancies based on price and quality; a large body of
literature in consumer psychology has investigated how people’s expectancies
shape consumption experiences. Different ways from the previous researchers,
Plassmann and Weber (2015) have examined “individual differences in marketing
placebo effects.” To reach this goal, they have drawn on neuroscientific
evidence for the underlying mechanisms of pain placebo effects to extend Shiv,
Carmon, and Ariely’s (2005a, b) model of marketing placebo effects and
suggested a multi- disciplinary model of how marketing-based
expectancies alter subjective consumption experiences. They then tested the
novel aspects of this model with various marketing placebo effects (e.g.,
price, brand labels, claims) and sensory experiences (food and aesthetic
consumption) a two-step procedure.

The original of marking placebo
effect study showed that price relates with quality by regarding of consumers’
expectations and behavioral performance. Different way of observation on
placebo effect, Wright et al. (2013) observed several non-price variables (set
size, scarcity, packing and taste). In their experimental, discounted price
Brazilian drink (Pharmaton Power) enhanced mental acuity by completing a puzzle
where participants solved as many words as possible from a matrix letters
(adapted from Shiv et al., 2005).

Kim and Jang (2013) examined
consumers’ perceptions of hedonic products (coffee consumption) price and the
role of prices, that cues improves consumers’ experiences.  They indicated that a higher price induces
consumer’s expectations of higher perceived quality or prestige sensitivity and
increases purchase intentions. The design and questionnaires to measure of this
study included customer perceptions of coffee attributes, service quality and
atmospheres, measures of price perception (i.e price-quality schema and
prestige sensitivity). In order to capture consumers’ hedonic consumption, they
selected luxury cafes (i.e at least the average price of cup of coffee US$7
compared with a other coffees shop costing round US$3) in Gangnam that well
known as the “Beverly Hills of Seoul” to test hedonic price placebo effect. The
result have shown from the out of 380 responses that a positive overall
perception of quality at luxury cafes (including coffee, service and
atmosphere) significantly induced by the both factors such as price-quality and
prestige sensitivity. Generally, the results suggested that the premium pricing
strategy could be successfully conducted as a placebo effect on consumers.
Furthermore, they contributed and adopted the positive or beneficial effects of
the price placebo effect instead of negative view of placebos in marketing
domains such as Shiv et al. (2005). It means their study also have shown that
price lead to positive placebo effect in hedonic consumption contexts.

Rao (2005) proposed, if new car
buyers haggle aggressively before receiving a discount, they may attribute the
discount to their bargaining skills rather than to quality. Thus, price–quality
beliefs may not be activated for or may be less salient to such buyers. This
possibility is consistent with Simonson, Carmon, and O’Curry’s (1994) finding
that when a deeply discounted television set had a scratch on a side panel, it
was preferred more than when there was no such scratch, presumably because
consumers attributed the low price to the scratch (ignoring the possibility
that the television may be of low quality regardless of the scratch). These
examples suggest that when there is a salient potential reason for a low price,
global price–quality beliefs may have less of an impact.

According to the Shiv et al.,
(2005), they observed not only in its regular price and a discount price, but
also into the intrinsic aspects (the products ingredients) and extrinsic
factors (the brand name) could have activated beliefs about their effects and
the products’ quality. Irmak, Block and Fitzsimons’s (2005) hypothesized that
brand placebo at a physiological level can shaded by motivation which plays a
key role in changing response. They analyzed interesting study of psychological
and physiological mechanisms that yield between motivational placebo effects
and drink consumed.  In their study,
consumers drink an energy drink, a placebo drink, or water (control condition).
They found that the placebo effect manifests only for consumers who desire
(high-motivation consumers) the arousing effects of an energy drink. Such
consumers experience identical physiological and subjective behavioral changes
as those who actually consume the energy drink. In this experiment, they used a
2 (drink consumed: energy drink versus placebo) × 2 (motivation: high versus
low, measured) between-subjects design. In order to experiment to these
designs, participants were assigned three main conditions such as the energy
drink condition, the placebo condition and control conditions. As in Shiv et
al., (2005) research, the placebo effect to change in the participants’ actual
experience and performance with the efficacy of the products but in their study
results have shown that these placebo effect were observed for highly motivated
participants. When participants reported a high degree of desire for the
increased energetic boost from an energy drink, they found that the placebo
beverage led to the same levels of performance and physiological change that an
actual energy drink containing caffeine and taurine provided. However, when
participants had low levels of motivation, consumption of the energy beverage
led to the same effects as a glass of water. In addition to the important role
that the marketing placebo effects enhanced by expectations, these data suggest
that motivation also plays an important role. Their investigation suggests that
sometimes consumers do not necessarily have to expect a product to work; they
just have to want it to work. Although the medical literature reveals that the
focus of investigations is on positive or beneficial effects of placebos, Shiv
et al., (2005) clearly demonstrate that there can be substantial negative
effects of placebos in marketing contexts. An interesting aspect of Shiv et
al., (2005) work is the demonstration that marketing placebo effects can occur
largely non-consciously. Whereas the motivation that drove the placebo effect
they observed in their study was conscious, it seems highly likely that the
mechanism through which it operated may also have been nonconscious.

Several studies have shown that
expectancies can change consumption experiences of physically identically
composed goods. Enax and Weber (2015) argued that investigation only on
physical properties of a product, such as the composition of ingredients, may
not be sufficient to increase market shares, and that marketing efforts have a
strong impact on sales, demand and consumption experiences.  Such a global belief led to a placebo effect,
by participants encountered enhanced the opposite sex members’ sexual
attractiveness. Friedman and colleagues’ (2005) observed that a global belief held
by some people, “consuming alcohol increases sexual desire,” by presenting
words such as “‘martini” and “vodka”. 

Priilaid (2006) proposed the
purpose of the paper is to ascertain the extent to which the sighted
appreciation of a wine’s intrinsic merit is confounded by extrinsic cues such
as price and region of origin in the Wine’s placebo effect (such red wine in
the south African). He used his methodology design by using a database of
sighted and blind tastings of three red South African wines (Cabernet, Merlot
and Shiraz) over the period 1993-2001, a series of multiple linear regression
models is developed to explain sighted quality ratings. He constructed his
design that the independent or candidate variables possibly signaling
sight-based wine quality include the wine’s cultivar (Cabernet, Merlot,
Shiraz), price, the area of origin indicator, the percentage of red wine made
per farm, as well as number of intrinsic quality metrics based on blind
tastings. Then his finding also has shown that three statistically significant
explicatory factors, namely price, region, and intrinsic quality. The price cue
alone explains 84 percent of sighted quality assessments; the combined effect
of both the region and price cue explains 95 per cent. This finding suggests
that when quality is measured from a sighted perspective, area becomes a
significant explicator, along with price. It is only once the cues of region
and price have been factored into the meta-model that intrinsic merit becomes
relevant, and here, only
to an extremely limited extent (5 percent). The lack of correspondence between
sighted and blind tasting scores, suggests that for sighted judgements –
extrinsic cues appear to be masking the wine’s intrinsic merit.

According to Manrai, Lascu and
Manrai (1998), consumers evaluate products not only
based on elements such as color, design and shape, but also by aspects like
price, warranty
and country of origin. Lazzari
and Slongo (2015) demonstrated the stereotypes due to the country of origin of
products is a global phenomenon in marketing placebo effects, in which goods
from countries with negative stereotypes are perceived as having worse quality
in relation to products from countries with positive reputations. This study
analyzed the occurrence of this effect for an energy drink, based on an
experiment among 105 university students, by measuring the variations in mental
acuity and reasoning speed after drinking products supposedly originating from
different countries. The results call attention to the importance of the
country of origin’s stereotype on the creation of expectations regarding the
product’s efficacy, with a consequent placebo effect on its performance.
Analogously to the negative placebo effect generated by low price in the study
of Shiv, Carmon and Ariely (2005), they found that the negative stereotype of
the country of origin generated a negative effect on the product’s
performance.  The results indicated that
the origin from a country with a negative stereotype regarding product quality
can generate a negative placebo effect. In other words, the subjects who drank
the beverage thinking it was from China performed worse that the participants
of the control group, who thought the drink came from Germany. However, they
did not identify a positive placebo effect of that country of origin. Their
results show the ability of a country’s stereotype to modify the real
performance of a product, but only for countries with negative stereotype,
since “Made in China” contributed to worse performance of the product, while
“Made in USA” was not able to improve the performance significantly.

Shiv, Carmon, and Ariely suggested
that some types of placebo effect can occur without conscious awareness.
Specifically, they found evidence that the price effect operates in this
manner. Considering the “conscious” placebo effect, at least three cognitive
operations are required: the provision of information that is salient to the
subjective phenomenon (e.g., the application of “analgesic” cream), the
maintenance of the information in working memory, and the expectation that this
information will affect the experience. The first two functions are most
closely associated with conscious awareness, but the last one could occur
without a person’s awareness through Pavlovian conditioning.

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