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.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Road Safety Game

In this racing game, the audience is confronted with the all too real consequences of speeding. Once connected through facebook the game starts and the player is encouraged to drive as fast as possible. Eventually the car will swerve and crash and when this happens the game uses photographs from the player’s facebook profile to create a unique and personalised experience to make it look as though their life is flashing before their eyes. Players are not allowed to game the game more than once even if reloaded emphasising the message ‘you only get one life’.

Firstly this is an example of the interactive experiment template. The player is required to engage in the interactive experience of playing a racing game. There may not even be an initial realisation that the game is actually an advert. There is a very strong likelihood of the target audience (young men) becoming engaged as this type of game is likely to appeal.

Second the inverted consequences template indicates the implications of failing to execute the recommendation advocated in the ad. In this case the player is warned that if they do not reduce their driving speed they are likely to die and do not get a second chance. I think this works especially well with the combination of a personalised experience. The advert is tailored to the player and far more likely to evoke an emotional response. Fear has proved to be effective in changing attitudes and behaviour when the appeal arouses intense fear, offers a specific recommendation for overcoming the fear and the target believes he or she can perform the recommendation (Leventhal, 1970). This advert clearly illustrates these 3 points.

Goldenberg, J., Mazursky, D., & Solomon, S. (1999). The fundamental templates of quality ads. Marketing science, 18, 333-351.

Leventhal, H. (1970). Findings and theory in the study of fear communications. In L. Berkowitz (Ed.), Advances in experimental social psychology (Vol. 5, pp. 119-186). New York: Academic Press. 

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