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.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Shocking adverts in aim to increase blood donations



Giving blood can save a persons life and is often advertised in the media. However, this advert is considered shocking as rarely do adverts show blood. The advert presented shows a money box, of which you expect money to be present, instead there is blood which goes against social norms. This advert is using a clever shock technique as it has been found that people are more likely to remember adverts that go against social norms (Dahl, Frankenberger & Machanda, 2003).

Dahl et al. (2003) exposed participants to shocking, fear-eliciting or information based posters about HIV and the use of condoms. Participants completed a decoy task in a room with five posters, one of which was a target poster. After the decoy experiment participants were tested for attention, recall, recognition and processing of the posters. It was found that participants paid more attention to, had better recall and recognition of the shocking posters. On investigation into why the shocking poster stood out 77.8% of participant that said their attention was drawn to the shocking advertisement, said it was due to its violation of social norms. The violation of social norms and surprise suggest that participants will process the message for longer (Pyszczynski & Greenberg, 1981). 


Dahl, D. W., Frankenberger, K. D., & Manchanda, R. V. (2003). Does it pay to shock? Reactions to shocking and nonshocking advertising content among university students. Journal of Advertising Research, 43(3), 268-280.

Pyszczynski, T. A., & Greenberg, J. (1981). Role of disconfirmed expectancies in the instigation of attributional processing. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 40(1), 31-38.

1 comment:

  1. Nice description of the research. However, I don't think the ad is properly linked. Could you fix this please?

    ReplyDelete

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