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.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Little things.



Andrex Toilet roll has been associated with Labrador retriever puppies since 1994. Throughout the years many slogans have been created to enforce a perception of similarity between the softness of the puppies and the toilet roll for; "tuggable, huggable, softness". Now there is a common association between puppies and toilet roll; many use the term "Andrex puppy". By consistently having seen this combination in the media a “mere exposure” effect occurs, where "liking" for the toilet roll/puppy association is increased. (Zajonc, 2001).
 People that buy Andrex toilet roll may have done so originally because of the cuteness of the puppies. By repeat purchase the consumer has convinced themselves, or further confirmed a self-belief that they are a "dog lover". This is an example of self-generated persuasion, whereby people are more easily persuaded when they have come up with justifications to do something themselves rather than explicitly being told the benefits of such action (Miller and Wozniak, 2001).
Lets paws for a moment.....
Targeting those that have undergone self-generated persuasion, this particular advert uses a technique of message fit. The advert confirms the greatness of puppies by showing them being playful, and humorous. But is actually conveying a more serious message of giving to a guide dog charity. The advert does not explicitly state the benefits guide dogs have to those that are blind, but focuses on the well-being of the dogs, this is a message-fitting mechanism, whereby it focuses on what consumers enjoy about Andrex adverts; a more "fun" aspect of the charity, training puppies. As the consumer has convinced themselves that they are a dog lover for the 9 years they have been buying Andrex toilet roll; they will feel inclined to buy the speciality pack next time they are shopping which donates to the guide dog charity, playing on the beliefs and knowledge of the public (Cesario, 1982). This is further enforced by the closing message: "It’s the little things". This is a legitimizing paltry technique that will make consumers feel bad if they do not donate; it implies “little” effort needs to be made, to donate a “little” amount, to the “little” puppies. (Cialdini and Schroeder, 1976).

Cesario, J., Grant, H., & Higgins, E. T. (2004). Regulatory fit and persuasion: Transfer from" feeling right.". Journal of personality and social psychology,86(3), 388

Cialdini, R. B., & Schroeder, D. A. (1976). Increasing compliance by legitimizing paltry contributions: When even a penny helps. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 34(4), 599.
Miller, R. L., & Wozniak, W. (2001). Counter-attitudinal advocacy: Effort vs. self-generation of arguments. Current Research in Social Psychology6(4), 46-57.

Zajonc, R. B. (2001). Mere exposure: A gateway to the subliminal. Current directions in psychological science, 10(6), 224-228.

Katie Mullord

1 comment:

  1. Lets paws for a moment! I laughed out loud when i read that. Nice analysis, but i feel it could have written more clearly in places and i wanted to the see the word 'commitment/consistency' to describe the compliance tactic of changing self image the advert used.

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