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, March 15, 2013


Nostalgia - Wispa bar


Creating the feeling of nostalgia is an advertising technique which I have often been influenced by. When in a supermarket looking at the rows of chocolate bars for sale, I often (and definitely more often than I should) succumb to the classic Wispa bar to reminisce about my childhood. The silly thing is I prefer the taste of other chocolate bars yet I am still drawn to this one.

Cadbury, who reintroduced the bar in 2009, have been very successful in evoking feelings of nostalgia for their product. Mainly because of the preservation of the original packaging that transports you back in time (for me to my early childhood) to when the bar was at its peak. This personal nostalgia produces positive feelings such as joy and affection (Holak and Havlena 1998) and consequently increases the desire to buy the product (Haley and Baldinger 1991).  The effectiveness of this technique is evidenced with Wispa becoming Britain’s best-selling chocolate bar with whopping sales of 92.5m!

Pascal, David and Muehling (2002), have demonstrated the effectiveness of nostalgia producing adverts. In their study participants viewed adverts which were evaluated as nostalgic or non-nostalgic and then had to complete a survey measuring their attitude towards the advert, brand and likelihood of purchasing. It was found that advertisements eliciting nostalgic reactions generated more favourable perceptions of each advert, the associated brand and resulted in an increased likelihood of purchasing compared to non-nostalgia evoking adverts.

Haley, Russel I. and Allan L. Baldiger (1991), "The ARF Copy Research Validity Project," Journal of Advertising Research, 31, 11-32.

Holak, Susan L. and William J. Havlena (1992), "Nostalgia: An Exploratory Study of Themes and Emotions in the Nostalgic Experences," in Advances in Consumer Research, Vol. 19, John F. Sherry, Jr., and Brian Stemthal, eds., Provo, UT: Association for Consumer Research, 380-387.

Pascal, V.J., Sprott, D.E. & Muehling, D.D. (2002). The influence of evoked nostalgia on consumer’s responses to advertising: An exploratory study. Journal of Current Issues and Research in Advertising, 24(1),39-49. 

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