This advert wants to prevent drink driving by using the fear tactic. Some drink-driving adverts are very vivid and invoke fear about the actual crash scene. However this advert is skillful in that it looks at the long term effects of drink driving. This novel approach is effective, as people are aware of scary scenes of crashes due to speeding and drink driving, but this approach shows the “haunting” of a man who has to live with what he has done. This is shown through the young victim appearing at every-day and special events and even when the man is asleep. Through using the fear technique, this advert aims to reduce people drink driving. It clearly states that you don’t have to be drunk in order to be caught drink driving. The final line, is very memorable, direct and forceful, it suggests that you are a fool to even contemplate drinking and driving; playing on multiple emotions.
Berkowitz and Cottingham (1960) completed a study which demonstrated the persuasive nature of fear on attitude change. They asked college students to listen to a lecture talking about the importance of seat belts. There were two types of lectures; strong fear or weak fear conditions, the stronger condition contained scary images and facts. They found little opinion change in the low fear condition, whereas those who had experienced the high fear condition showed a higher level of attitude change, measured through questionnaires. Importantly this attitude change was in the direction of the lecturer’s attitude. Therefore this shows that the use of fear can influence and change people’s attitudes. Another experiment that illustrates the role of fear was by Leventhal, Singer and Jones (1965), which has already been mentioned on the blog, which looked at leaflets with varying facts about tetanus, and found that high fear conditions lead to increased anxiety about tetanus and also resulted in more participants going to get a vaccination.
Berkowitz, L., & Cottingham, D.R. (1960). The interest value and relevance of fear arousing communications. The Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, 60 (1), 37-43.Leventhal, H., Singer, R., & Jones, S. (1965). Effects of fear and specificity of recommendation upon attitudes and behavior. Journal of personality and social psychology, 2(1), 20-29.