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.

Monday, February 4, 2013

   This reading lamp advert may be trying to utilise the technique of imagery sells. It carefully lists the key features of the lamp, perhaps in an attempt to get the audience to imagine what it would be like to use it. However the highly exaggerated first detail and fairly uninspiring second / third detail are arguably not conducive to a persuasive image that will inevitably lead to a purchase (Gregory et al., as cited in Pratkanis, 2007).

   Praxmarer (2011) suggests that this should not be the case. Praxmarer manipulated whether or not adverts presented to participants facilitated imagination; getting some, but not others, to directly tell them to imagine something (see Miller & Mark, as cited in Praxmarer, 2011). Praxmarer suggested that after viewing, imagined products were liked more. Praxmer’s conclusion was based on participant responses on the feeling scale (Edell & Burke, as cited in Praxmarer, 2011) following each advert.

  Arguably utilising imagination was not the best technique to use to sell a reading lamp. Perhaps it would have been better to focus on the negatives of not getting the lamp. For example, the advert could have focussed on people not being able to enjoy reading as much. In other words, it could have employed the negativity effect (Kanouse & Hanson, as cited in Pratkanis, 2007).

Pratkanis, A.R. (2007). Social Influence Analysis: An Index of Tactics. In A.R. Pratkanis
  (Ed.), The Science of Social Influences: Advances and Future Progress. (pp.17 -83).
  New York: Psychology Press.  

Praxmarer, S. (2011). Message strength and persuasion when consumers imagine
  product usage. Journal of Consumer Behaviour, 10, 225 – 231. 

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