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The Principle of Scarcity

The Principle of Scarcity

The Principle of Scarcity

Online marketing that applies the law of scarcity

Starbucks holiday drinks and seasonal fare

Starbucks exclusively offers its Christmas Holiday Frappuccino drinks during the Christmas season, only for a limited time (Starbucks 2020). Whenever it arrives at its outlets, customers always take advantage of it while it lasts. The theory of scarcity theocratizes that when something is scarce, it is thought to have great value. Customers view Christmas as having high value because it only occurs once a year and because the short time frame available fosters a sense of urgency. For a few days, customers compete to take advantage of this. The new Starbucks Christmas Tree Frappuccino is unique due to its seasonal components. It would only create less buzz available all year. Its seasonality, sale, and exclusivity make it subject to the law of scarcity. Additionally, because of the limited availability and duration, issuing numerous reminders causes FOMO in consumers. Even if it were offered year-round, only some individuals would be interested.

The Starbucks Holiday Drinks

A particular sort of sign, advertisement, etc., in a neighbourhood store that appeals to the idea of scarcity to persuade you to do an action or make a purchase

The words “hurry – limited quantities” are used by a local tour and travel agency to promote the sale of tickets for three-day road trips. The travel agency establishes a deadline for prospective customers to buy the exclusive and constrained deal. Based on the theory of scarcity, buyers place a high value on uncommon items. Buyers have a sense of urgency during this time. The limited seats are effectively indicated, and the specialization is clear to most viewers. Because it introduces the element of scarcity—limited time and quantity—the technique fits the definition of the principle of scarcity. We see a bustle as people hurry to acquire concert tickets to avoid missing out. To prevent missing out a second time, the corporation may opt to extend the deadline per the sales target and encourage others to buy the ticket. According to Mukherjee & Lee (2016), consumers who have high expectations are more receptive to scarcity appeals. Consumer perception of the service as being competitive makes this strategy effective.

An instance in your life when someone attempted to persuade you to behave based on the idea of scarcity

An event planning business sold tickets for a concert movie that had just made its broadcast debut. ‘Hurry’ was written next to its online ticket postings, creating the impression that only a few concert tickets were left for sale. Additionally, the social media account had favourable ratings and reviews that provided social proof. Prices for musical tickets ranged from average to extremely significant people. I chose the normal early bird ticket. This example demonstrates the scarcity principle because the number trick—only 100 spots left—created a sense of urgency among customers to act quickly. The website also said many individuals were looking at the offer, encouraging purchasers to move even more quickly. If that happened now, I would view the same circumstance differently, knowing what I know now.


Mukherjee, A., & Lee, S. Y. (2016). Scarcity appeals in advertising: the moderating role of expectation of scarcity. Journal of Advertising, 45(2), 256-268.

Starbucks. (2020). Cosy on in with Starbucks holiday beverages and festive food. Starbucks Stories. Retrieved April 17, 2023, from on-in-with-Starbucks-holiday-beverages-and-festive-food/


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Respond to the following questions.

  1. Find an online advertisement that utilizes the principle of scarcity to prompt you to do something (make a purchase, sign a petition, etc.). The advertisement can be from your normal web browsing, social media, or email. If you can, attach a screenshot below. In at least 1 paragraph, describe why it falls under the law of scarcity and why you did or did not choose to do what the advertisement wanted.

    The Principle of Scarcity

    The Principle of Scarcity

  2. Next, find some type of sign, advertisement, etc., in a local business that uses the principle of scarcity to get you to do something or buy something. You can even use an example from your workplace if you wish. Do not post a picture in this section. In at least 1 paragraph, describe why your example falls under the principle of scarcity and if you witnessed anyone’s increased interest in it (including your own) as a result.
  3. Now, think of an example from your own life where a person tried to convince you to take action utilizing the principle of scarcity. It can be a friend, family member, coworker, boss, etc. In at least 1 paragraph, describe why your example falls under the principle of scarcity and indicate whether they were able to convince you or not. Knowing what you know now, would you look at the situation differently if it was to happen again?

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