Behaviour Change

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

Friday, January 25, 2013

Megan Fox Acer Advert

This is an advert for the computer brand Acer advertising their new Ultrabook, fronted by the actress Megan Fox. Megan Fox has numerously been ranked one of the most attractive female celebrities in recent years, which can have an effect on attitude change (Chaiken, 1979). The advert uses a physically attractive altercast and high status admirer altercast technique. Having a famous face draws in the attention of viewers. Also the use of a celebrity adds credibility as we believe if they use the product it must be good enough for us. The way they make us feel like we are seeing a private, different side to Megan Fox can be used to make us feel like her backing the brand is genuine and for us to feel on her level. Atkin and Block (1983) found celeb endorsements to be very effective. Lefkowitz et al. (1955) saw the effects of authority on persuasion when people were more likely to jay walk when following a man dressed in a suit than dressed in denim. There is also an expert altercast technique used since there are many professionals in the advert all using Acer products.
By presenting humour it’s reducing the status gap creating a sense of similarity between the source and viewer therefore allowing the viewer to relate. Humour has been found to have a positive effect on attention (Lammers, 1991). The advert tells a story therefore engaging our interest as we want to see where it is going. Therefore increased attention is focused on the advert. Story-telling is a useful technique as Hastie and Pennington (2000) found it to guide thought and distinguish the credibility of information.
Perhaps the use of a story involving friendly animals, dolphins is used to control emotions and make us happy. The company is trying to encourage us to achieve our dreams and be creative with the product. This can be an example of emotional appeal. Also the use of humour can produce a happy positive mood. Positive mood increases the effect of persuasion via one of two routes (Petty, Schumann, Richman and Strathman,1993) A positive mood directly increases the positivity of the attitude when the target is not encouraged to think of an issue but when they are encouraged a positive mood helps more positive thoughts be made and therefore creating a positive attitude.

Atkin, C., & Block, M. (1983). Effectiveness of celebrity endorsers. Journal of Advertising Research.
Chaiken, S. (1979). Communicator physical attractiveness and persuasion.  Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 37, 1387–1397.
Hastie, R., & Pennington, N. (2000). Explanation-based decision making. In T. Connolly, H. R. Arkes, & K. R. Hammond (Eds.), Judgment and decision making (2nd ed., pp. 212–228). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Lammers, H. B. (1991). Moderating influence of self-monitoring and gender on responses to humorous advertising. The Journal of Social Psychology131(1), 57-69.
Lefkowitz, M., Blake, R. R., & Mouton, J. S. (1955). Status factors in pedestrian violation of traffic signals. Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, 51, 704–706.

Petty, R. E., Schumann, D. W., Richman, S. A., & Strathman, A. J. (1993). Positive mood and persuasion: Different roles for affect under high-and low-elaboration conditions. Journal of personality and social psychology64(1), 5.

1 comment:

  1. Interesting advertisement, as it is a bit complex and may use many persuasion techniques. Can you expand on Hastie and Pennington? Did they do an experiment? What did the participants experience and how was the guidance of their thought measured?


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