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.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

"A Reunion" by Google


This is a very touching yet clever advertisement by Google. It is emphasising globalisation and how the world shrinking through the use of the Internet and technology. It shows two best friends who lost touch during the partition between India and Pakistan were able to reunite decades later by using Google.

Google is the most used search engine all over the world. This video highlights how anything can be searched on google; from old heritage sites to getting directions, weather forecasts and even phone numbers. The brief display of these searches on the Google home page helps the viewer relate to the advertisement, as it is the same page that appears when google.com is loaded.  However one of the most gripping facts about the advertisement is that it creates a bond between the consumer and the product by provoking emotion. It uses the mood congruency effect (Mathur & Chattopadhayay, 1991). The viewer’s mood consistent knowledge structures are activated when a mood is aroused. In this example, the advertisement instigates the emotions of nostalgia and happiness among the viewers. This activates past memories of friendships and reunions viewers may have had which could help them relate to the advertisement. By reminiscing, the mood could improve further and as a result could produce positive cognitive responses towards Google (Goldberg & Gorn, 1987). This idea is consistent with Plutchik (1980) who postulated that feelings mediate situation perceptions and instinctive responses.

The most interesting thing about this advertisement is that there is a subtle product display (Avery & Ferraro, 2000). “Google” is integrated so seamlessly and briefly in a way that the viewer does not really feel like it is an advertisement. The viewer does not feel like they are being sold a product but in fact just being shown a short film. This keeps the viewer involved as there is a gradual build up and every few seconds the scenes change between India and Pakistan. These beautiful sceneries and the traditional background music add to the enjoyment, making the advert light hearted and encapsulating.

 This advert is very effective and the best of its kind because the viewers are being sold a brand in an understated manner. Although most ads focus on the brand name, this ad is focusing on how the Internet is effective in maintaining friendships and doing a variety of searches through the subtle presentation of Google. It also targets the emotional aspect of the viewers by creating a positive and happy mood. Thus, the viewers are able to relate practically and emotionally to the advertisement and as a result will have a very favourable response towards Google.


Avery, R. J., & Ferraro, R. (2000). Verisimilitude or advertising? Brand appearances on primetime television. Journal of Consumer Affairs34(2), 217-244.

Gorn, G. J., Goldberg, M. E., & Basu, K. (1993). Mood, awareness, and product evaluation. Journal of Consumer Psychology2(3), 237-256.

Mathur, M., & Chattopadhyay, A. (1991). The impact of moods generated by television programs on responses to advertising. Psychology & Marketing8(1), 59-77.

Plutchik, R. (1980). A general psychoevolutionary theory of emotion. Emotion: Theory, research, and experience1(3), 3-33.


Isma Khan

1 comment:

  1. Very nicely written Isma. I'd say also that the storytelling technique is used here also.

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