The Reverse Napoleon Effect: The Brand Appreciation of Looking Up by Tall People

Publication Date



Integrating the embodied cognition framework with research on the self, this study shows that head canting (the vertical tilt of the head to look up vs. down) interacts with a viewer's physical height to influence perceived brand power and behavioral intentions. Three studies use a variety of brand cues in both laboratory and field contexts to test the effect of head canting on brand power evaluations, the role of a person's physical height as a moderator and boundary condition, and the mediating role of consumer–brand identification. Study 1, an experiment, showed that tall, but not short individuals, evaluate a brand as more powerful when looking up (rather than down) at a brand story from a standing position, with differences in brand power impacting brand attitudes and choice. Study 2 replicates these findings with 30 brands, consumers positioned in a seated position, and brand logos. Both studies rule out the construal level as a process mediator. Study 3 further examines the process and demonstrates that the interaction of head canting with a person's height impacts consumer–brand identification, which mediates brand evaluations. These findings add a brand management and physical-self perspective to previous embodiment research by specifically examining the effects of sensorimotor experiences.

Publication Title

Psychology & Marketing

First Page


Last Page




Publisher Policy

Pre-print, post-print

Open Access Status


This document is currently not available here.

Find in your library