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 31, 2013

Skoda Fabia Cake advert


This adward winning advert from 2007 shows a Skoda Fabia being made from scratch, entirely out of cake and other edible 'lovely things' starting with the actual making of the cake. The cake made up the main bodywork with jelly for breaklights and chocolate fondant tyres, with all the internal features of the car  also included, with a liquorice engine and golden syrup lubricant, so no detail was left untouched. The cake car took eight people ten days to build, and reportedly cost around £500,000 to make.

Whilst the car is being made, Julie Andrews' "Favourite things" is playing, a very familiar song to many, therefore this advert uses familiarity as a persuasive technique. A study by Hahn and Hwang (1999) using 113 undergraduate students in Korea found that using familiar background music significantly increased the level of recall for details of a 30 second fictitious advertisement compared to the same advert with unfamiliar music. This research also showed that using a low tempo song, which "Favourite things" is, also improves recall of an advertisement compared to a high tempo song, especially if the music is familiar.  The song and use of cake also creates a positive happy mood, which has been shown to increase helping behaviour and comply to a request, in this case buying the car. Isen, Clark and Schwartz, (1976) found that people were more likely to help when the opportunity arose after they were called by a wrong number, when they had received free sample of stationary beforehand.

By using  familiarity and positive good mood, the song creates an association between the brand and the things that people like, their favourite things, creating the impression that the car is also one of their favourite things, and creating a positive image surrounding the car (Staats & Staats, 1958), which was much needed due to the negative press and feeling surrounding Skoda at the time. This advert is believed to have initiated the significant improvements in public attitude towards the brand.

Hahn, M., & Hwang, I. (1999). Effects of tempo and familiarity of background music on message processing in TV advertising: A resource-matching perspective. Psychology and Marketing, 16, 659.

Isen, A. M., Clark, M., & Schwartz, M. F. (1976). Duration of the effect of good mood on helping: "Footprints on the sands of time". Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 34, 385-393.

Staats, A. W., & Staats, C. K. (1958). Attitudes established by classical conditioning. Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, 57, 37-40.

2 comments:

  1. Great ad and nice discussion of the research.

    ReplyDelete
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