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.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Heaven Can Wait



The following advert depicts a car crash and the consequences, as well as the rewards, of wearing a seat belt while in a moving vehicle. The advertisement begins with the sound of a crash and the image of a large tree shaking in response to the automobile hitting it. Melancholic music begins to play as the three passengers in the car are shown. Things that look like spirits of the once alive bodies begin to rise from the people's limbs and float out of the car, into the sky. Suddenly the person in the passenger's seat gains consciousness and his "spirit" ricochets back into his body. His is shown gasping for air and grasping his seat belt, he was the only one wearing one. The advertisement ends with font that reads, "Heaven can wait, buckle up." 

This advertisement makes us of the extreme situation template to exaggerate the benefits of wearing a seat belt while in a car. While a situation such as this is not uncommon, the use of spirits rising out of the body and the only thing saving the passenger from his spirit rising to heaven being the seat belt is dramatic. The ad emphasizes the importance of wearing a seat belt with a bit of what I interpreted as humor, ending with the statement that heaven can wait, as if heaven is a friend waiting in a coffee shop. 


Goldenberg, J., Mazursky, D., & Solomon, S. (1999). The fundamental templates of quality ads.Marketing Science18(3), 333-351.

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