Behaviour Change

PROPAGANDA FOR CHANGE is a project created by the students of Behaviour Change (ps359) and Professor Thomas Hills at the Psychology Department of the University of Warwick. This work was supported by funding from Warwick's Institute for Advanced Teaching and Learning.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

BMW Rearview Camera Commercial




Automobile advertisements help shape us the way we think about a car, for a long time they have fueled our desire to buy by just advertising images and information, however, in this modern era car commercials reveal a great explosion of fantasy. Research confirms that automobiles are a high-involvement product for consumers, and in this advertisement BMW promotes not only the car but also new and specific products, such as the rearview camera.

First and foremost the use of humor is evident in this advertisement. Research suggests that humor elicits a dynamic emotional response, and is used to grab the attention of the viewer. Humor increases the comprehension level of the viewer, hence helping them retain the advertisement. BMW advertisers use humor as an effective mechanism, which results in positive brand associations. A research conducted by French (1988) provides evidence that humorous advertisements are effective in selling products such as cars.

BMW as we all know has a clear brand identity, superb quality and high powered engines are at the heart of the brand, and that association has served BMW well for decades. Research shows that corporate credibility effects consumer’s attitude towards products, as there are established perceptions about the company. Goldsmith and Lafferty (2000) surveyed 152 participants who were asked to view an ad for several Mobil Oil companies, results indicate that companies with high corporate credibility evoke positive attitude towards the advert thereby increasing the effectiveness of the advertisement.

This advert depicts a clear gender difference by using the boy winning the girl over by impressing her. Automobile adverts especially those of luxury cars mostly target males, hence use of gender, as a positioning variable is an advertising strategy, which enhances the effectiveness of the advert. Sistrunk and McDavid (1971) carried out studies showing gender differences in regards to decision making. The ‘impress others’ construct of the model was measured by giving the participant the question “ How much would you like the car to impress your family, friends and colleagues” using a 5- point rating scale. The results conclude that male seek to impress others more than females with reference to cars.



French, C. (1998). “Does a smile sell the product?” The Globe and Mail, 17, 21-32.

Lafferty, B. A., R. E. Goldsmith and S. J. Newell (2002). The dual credibility model: The influence of corporate and endorser credibility on attitudes and purchase intentions. Journal of Marketing Theory and Practice, 10 (3), 1-12.

Sistrunk, F., & McDavid, J. W. (1971). "Sex variable in conforming behavior". Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 17 (2), 200–207.

1 comment:

  1. Nice applications, especially interesting is the Sistrunk and McDavid.

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