The above advertisement was produced by the supermarket chain ALDI in 2011. It is part of a long-running campaign which consists of numerous advertisements, each one illustrating the difference in price between a branded item (in this case PG tips) and ALDI’s unbranded alternative.
In addition to the effective use of humour in this advert, the tactic of establishing a favourable comparison point is utilised (Pratkanis, 2007): in this case the difference in price between the two varieties of tea. By administering questionnaires to 2,967 adults, Glanz, Basil, Maibach, Goldberg and Snyder found that, after taste, price is the biggest factor in deciding which foods to buy. Studies such as this support the effectiveness of this advert.
The persuasive tactic of fait accompli (Pratkanis, 2007) could also be applied to this advert. The advert tag line “Like brands, only cheaper,” coupled with the prices shown in the advert, encourage a notion of “why choose the more expensive brand, if they’re exactly the same?” The whole advert suggests that there is no difference between the products, other than price. Previous studies have found that presenting an argument which seemingly has only one solution, as ALDI have done in this advert, is a very persuasive method. For example, in one study (Brehm, 1959) children were given a food item which they disliked and told that they would definitely have to eat it often in the future, follow up tests showed that they convinced themselves that the food wasn’t too bad. However, if the children had not been told they would have to eat it often in future, their dislike remained the same. The fait accompli theory suggests that this was the case because changing their opinion was the only obvious solution for children in the first group.
Brehm, J. W. (1959). Increasing cognitive dissonance by a fait accompli. The Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, 58(3), 379-382.
Glanz, K. Basil, M. Maibach, E. Goldberg, J., & Snyder, D. (1998). Why Americans eat what they do: taste, nutrition, cost, convenience, and weight control concerns as influences on food consumption. Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 98, 1118-1126.
Pratkanis (2007). The science of social influence: Advances and future progress. Psychology Press.