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.

Friday, March 15, 2013

(Regina) George Chester

Firstly, I apologise for reminding you once again of the bombardment of persuasive messages we were subject to in the SU elections in week 8. I’d like to draw attention to this one, however, as I think the persuasive techniques used in this clip stood out from the other generic campaign videos.

The video itself engages attention as viewers come to realise that this video is a spoof of a well-known clip from the film Mean Girls. The landscaping tactic of association (Pratkanis, 2007) is thus used, where the meaning of the original mean girls clip is transferred to this persuasive message: (Regina) George is portrayed as the most popular girl in school, who is in a position of high authority. (Regina) George Chester associates his name and character with that of popularity, authority, and power. Other persuasive tactics were used throughout, such as humour and repetition.

More importantly, this video emphasises the power that taking a political campaign viral can have. Wallsten (2008) carried out a "vector autoregression" investigating what factors affected how viral's "Yes We Can", the most popular online political video of 2008 went. It was found that blog discussion played a vital role in guiding the online audience to the video. The (Regina) George Chester campaign video truly made use of guiding an online audience to the video after it was shared and re:posted across various social networking sites. This highlights the persuasive power of viral advertising.

 Pratkanis, A. R (2007). The science of social influence. Psychology Press.

Wallsten, K. (2008). Yes we can: How online viewership, blog discussion and mainstream media coverage produced a viral video phenomenon. In annual meeting of the American political science association, Boston MA.

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