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, February 1, 2013

Child of the 90's - Internet Explorer 10

Internet explorer was the king of the World Wide Web in the 90’s but after Safari, Google Chrome and Firefox came about, it was soon forgotten. This ad takes viewers on a trip down memory lane before the development of iPhones, iPods, Facebook, and Twitter. Yoyo’s, tamagochi’s, floppy disks, troll dolls and bowl cut hairstyles are all features in this ad evoking a soft spot in the heart’s of people who grew up during the generation of the 90s. Just how we heard our parents say from time to time “In our generation… and then go on to an elaborated story of their youth”, the narration of the advertisement does exactly that. However in this situation, it’s the story of our generation and our youth, the feeling that years have gone by but yet the relationship with Internet Explorer still exists, leads to warm loving nostalgic feeling.

By using nostalgia as a marketing technique, the advertisement takes advantage of people wanting to relive their youth by going back into the past when life was simple. Holak and Havelena (1998) conducted a survey of the use of nostalgia in marketing and its impact of consumer behaviour. It was found that positive emotions of warmth, joy, gratitude, affection and innocence are all associated in nostalgic experiences. Research shows that nostalgia has been used in several adverts in the 1990’s. It has been found that during such periods people tend to reminisce and look back in time to gain a sense of security, thus responding favourably to nostalgic advertisements (Stern, 1992).

The point of the advert is for viewers to associate the positive emotions they feel when their memory of the past is stimulated and relate it to Internet Explorer, a browser of their time. It tries to show that just as people grew up, so did Internet explorer and they deserve a second chance because they aren’t strangers, they are part of our childhood.  Through the use of nostalgia this advertisement burrows emotion into ones heart, evoking warm and positive emotions eliciting a more favourable perception of internet explorer, contributing to the greater purchase likelihood (Pascal, Sprott, & Muehling, 2002).

This advertisement also only uses subtle, yet happy pastel colours. The colours do not overpower the content of the advertisement, and play along emphasising the key message and evoking positive emotions. The music also triggers emotions, by building up and raising adrenalin it builds up our want and suspense of the new Internet explorer. It also draws out the viewers curiosity in anticipation of what the clip is advertising. Although the new Internet explorer is not directly shown in this ad, it creates suspense amongst the audience, making it more appealing.


Holak, S. L., & Havlena, W. J. (1998). Feelings, Fantasies, and Memories: An Examination of the Emotional Components of Nostalgia. Journal of Business Research, 42(3), 217-226.

Pascal, V. J., & Sprott, D. E., & Muehling, D. D. (2002). The Influence of Evoked Nostalgia on Consumer’ Responses to Advertising: An Exploratory Study. Journal of Current Issues & Research in Advertising, 24 (9), 39.

Stem, B. (1992). Historical and Personal Nostalgia in Advertising Text: The Fin de Siecle Effect. Journal of Advertising, 31, 11-22.

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