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.

Friday, February 15, 2013

ellCar-UK is a car buying company based in the UK. This advert has used jingles and dancing penguins to promote their brand.

Many commercials use jingles to increase the memorability of a product or the product's name (Wallace, 1990). This persuasive technique was investigated by Wallace’s (1990) experiment whereby subjects listened to one of two ballads that were either spoken or sung to them five times. Participants were asked to recall in writing the words of the ballad after the first, second, and fifth repetition. Results indicated that verbatim recall is better when heard as a song, rather than as speech, provided the music is repeated. This method of repetition advertising is displayed in the well-known advertising campaign ‘’. This technique generally has the effect of annoying the public but as a result the name is easily recalled and thus can actually be considered very effective.

The misuse of jingles can however have undesirable effects if not used properly. For example, this advert has overloaded the reader with a lot of information about the brand, but the name of the brand is only mentioned once in the beginning and at the end of the jingle. There is hardly any repetition of the brand name, and so it is hard to recall. Furthermore, as there is a lot for the reader to digest in a short period, not all of the message can be comprehended.  Eagley (1974) manipulated the comprehensibility of a passage regarding sleep to participants and found that subjects in the good comprehensibility condition were the most persuaded and recalled the most message arguments. 

Eagly, A. H. (1974). Comprehensibility of persuasive arguments as a detriment of opinion change. Journal of personal and social psychology, 29, 758-773. 

Wallace, Wanda T. (1994) Memory for Music: Effect of Melody on Recall of Text. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory and Cognition, 20, 1471-1485.

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