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.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Nicorette shark attack advert




This is an advertisement by Nicorette, showing a man’s addiction to cigarettes by his constant repetition of the word cigarette. Suddenly, a great white shark aggressively begins to attack his arm, however he is oblivious to the attack due to his obsession with cigarettes. The man is then seen taking some of the “Nicorettes” and appears to no longer be addicted to cigarettes, hence can notice the great white shark attacking him.

This advert uses one of the six Goldenberg, Mazurksy and Solomon (1999) templates: the extreme situation template. This template depicts a situation that is unrealistic, to boost an important key attribute of the product being advertised. In this case, the unrealistic situation is having your arm attacked by a great white shark, and not noticing due to your cigarette addiction/obsession. The key attribute of the product being advertised is the importance of Nicorette and its ability to put cigarette cravings to an end, allowing you to focus on more important aspects of your life and the great white shark mauling your arm off.

It is very unrealistic and extreme to not notice a great white shark eating your arm off, even if you are addicted to cigarettes. Nevertheless, I found this advert very amusing. Evidence shows that humour can be an effective tool in advertisements (Weinberger & Gulas, 1992).



Goldenberg, J., Mazursky, D., & Solomon, S. (1999). The Fundamental Templates of Quality Ads. Marketing Science, 18, 333-351.

Weinberger, M. G. & Gulas, C. S. (1992). The Impact of Humor in Advertising: A Review. Journal of Advertising
21, 35-59.

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