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.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

# 3: Bowater didn't float like a Butterfly Mr Ali.

This was something that particularly infuriated me during the Warwick SU elections. Here, Presidential Candidate "Muhammad Ali" is clearly trying to use the momentum of The "joke" candidate Aaron Bowater to further his electoral campaign, by making a video response to one of Bowaters Videos, where he jests about Coventry University having a uranium enrichment program.

Unfortunately, in my opinion, although he has the right idea of using the popularity of someone who is arguably a celebrity (Relatively speaking, as Bowater had previously come second in the presidential elections the year before, and ended up finishing second in the 2013 elections). However, I feel that this would have negatively affected his campaign, as although he may gain some publicity through the association, He has neglected the "match up Hypothesis", whereby there needs to be a fit between the endorsement (or association) and the brand name (in this case the presidential campaign).

Instead of using Bowater as an endorsement, he should have played heavier upon what seemed to be his initial campaign plan: The legendary boxer Mohammad Ali. I had seen his a few times around the students union wearing boxing gloves, but this was a rare occasion. This would have ensured that the transferred attributes would have been that of a very successful, charismatic athlete rather than a presidential joke.

Till and Busler (2000) looked into the effects of the expertise of the  celebrity endorsement, as much of the previous research had focused solely on physical attractiveness. In the second part to their study, experimenters. Here, they used both actors and athletes to market candy bars and energy bars (giving a 2x2 study). As expected, they found a positive effect of expertise (actor/athlete) on the product being marketed, in that the athelete was more effective at marketing the energy bar, and was more likely to be believed when commenting on the properties of the energy bar, such as its ability to provide more energy.

In short, although Mr. Ali may have received a signal boost from latching onto the campaign of a fellow competitor, I feel that he would have been much better off sticking with his own image endorsement.

Till, B. D. & Busler, M. (2000). The Match-up Hypothesis: Physical Attractiveness, Expertise, and the Role of Fit on Brand Attitude, Purchase Intent and Brand Beliefs Journal of Advertising. 29(3), pp. 1-13

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