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.

Sunday, January 19, 2014


In this glamorous Dior advert the watcher is subjected to a world in which everyone who is beautiful wears Dior. It cleverly portrays Grace Kelly, Marlene Dietrich and Marilyn Monroe, three Hollywood greats, getting ready backstage at a catwalk show. This could be described as a technique known as High Status-Admirer Altercast (Pratkanis, 2007) which takes advantage of how normal people wish to be similar to a prominent and prestigious person, for example by wearing a certain perfume.  Another technique that is used is the Attractive-Admirer Altercast (Pratkanis, 2007), in which others tend to admire attractive people and wish to be part of their world.

At the end of the advert Charlize Theron reaches the end of the catwalk and morphs into the bottle of perfume – same shape, same colour, and even the same neck design. This is an example of association. Smith and Engel (1968) demonstrated this technique when they found that men who saw a car with an attractive female next to it rated the car as faster, more appealing, more expensive and better designed. The men later refused to believe that it was the attractive woman that had influenced their ratings of the car. This technique works when something you like is presented to you with another object, leading you to want that object (Lott & Lott, 1965).

After all, who doesn’t like Charlize Theron?

Stephanie Parsons

Lott, A. J., & Lott, B. E. (1965). Group cohesiveness as interpersonal attraction: A review of relationships with antecedent and variables. Psychological Bulletin, 64, 259-309.

Pratkanis, A. R. (2007). Social influence analysis: An index of tactics. 
The science of social influence: Advances and future progress, 17-82.

Smith, G. & Engel, R. (1968). Influence of a Female Model on Perceived Characteristics of an Automobile, Proceedings of the 76th Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association, 3, 681-682.

1 comment:

  1. Short and sweet. Id say you could have ended it on a bigger bang but good nonetheless.


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