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

Spray More, Get More: The Lynx Effect

This advertisement by Lynx begins by showing attractive women in bikinis eagerly running and swimming towards something that is unknown to the audience. They quickly become frenzied and fight each other to try and get there first, insinuating the mysterious entity must be obtained at all costs.  It is then revealed that they are actually swarming towards an average looking man, who is spraying his body with a copious amount of Lynx spray. 

This advert uses the extreme consequences template (Goldenberg, Mazurksy and Solomon, 1999) in which a product is presented as having an absurd, unbelievable consequence, which is obvious to the audience.  The unrealistic consequence in this advert is the many women chasing after the man, as the advert is suggesting that by spraying Lynx, a man instantly becomes more attractive and will be wanted by thousands of attractive women.  The product attribute that is being emphasised through the extreme consequence is the appealing smell of Lynx and how it improves a man’s attractiveness. 

This advert also cleverly uses an average looking man in order to implement what is known as the ‘just plain folk’ technique (Pratkanis, 2007).  This means that the advert’s target audience, ‘the average man’, can easily relate to the man in the advert and this reinforces the message that you do not need to look amazing to get beautiful women but simply need to smell good, and this can be achieved by using their Lynx product.  Research has shown that there is an increase in persuasion when the audience are able to find similarities between themselves and the source.  A study conducted by Stotland, Zander and Natsoulas (1961) found that when a participant had similar music preferences to a confederate, they were more likely to agree in rating nonsense syllables. 

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

Pratkanis (2007). The science of social influence: Advances and future progress. Psychology Press.

Stotland, E., A. Zander & T. Natsoulas (1961). Generalization of interpersonal similarity.  Journal of Abnormal & Social Psychology, 62, 250-256.

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