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.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Lynx Dry: Premature Perspiration



 This is an advert for Lynx antiperspirant deodorant. The tone of the advert is immediately set when the viewer is presented with an unmistakable sexual innuendo of the tag line "premature perspiration". Pratkanis (2007) expresses that the use of innuendo in advertising generates expectations which captivates and filters attention toward similar themed content in the future. This is exemplified by showing women in the advert licking an ice lolly and the male shuddering with "perspiration". Innuendos such as this may serve to embarrass the target of influence, which promotes the response of striving to avoid situations such as this occurring (Miller, 1996). In this case, lynx deodorant  will enable you to avoid embarrassing situations such as this.

 The Similarity Altercast technique is also used, by directly appealing to the similarities that the target may feel between himself and the source: "... it can be produced by nervousness... insecurity ... making them lose confidence, but above all...women". Research has shown that ratings for nonsense syllable strings are more similar if two raters share similar music taste than if their music tastes differ (Stotland, Zander, & Natsoulas,1961). In this research, participants were led to believe that their own music preferences were similar to one other confederates music taste, and dissimilar to another confederates music taste. Participants were then found that their own ratings of how much they liked  nonsense syllable strings was more similar to the confederate who they believed they shared similar music tastes with, and more dissimilar to those who were not perceived to be similar to them.  The Similarity Altercast tactic relying on social relationships will ultimately work if the target can identify with this message/source: in this case, the feelings of embarrassment and social anxiety surrounding this problem, and the ultimate goal of wanting to obtain a woman.


 Not only is the Similarity Altercast technique used, but also the Physically Attractive-Admirer Altercast. This advert uses physically attractive women to boost the selling power of the message. Research has shown that physically attractive people can sell more than their physically unattractive counterparts (Reingen & Kernan, 1993) as people long to identify and be in the same social category as these attractive people. In other words, purchasing this deodorant will make you attractive to other attractive people.



Miller, R. (1996). Embarrassment: Poise and peril in everyday life. New York: Guildford Press.
Pratkanis, A. R. (2007). The science of social influence: Advances and future progress. New York: Psychology Press.
Reingen, P. H., & Kernan, J. B. (1993). Social perception and interpersonal influence: Some consequences of the physical attractiveness stereotype in personal selling setting. Journal of Consumer Psychology, 2, 25-38.
Stotland, E., Zander, A., & Natsoulas, T. (1961). Generalization of interpersonal similarity. Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, 62, 250-256.

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