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

POST night out...




Lads...ever got so smashed that you’ve managed to score a really hot chick...snuck her home, done the deed, but got so wasted that you’ve forgotten the most crucial thing to keep her from storming out of your bedroom in the morning....her name?
In today's culture this appears to be (although a hilarious story to tell later on down the line), a critical mistake that many drunken uni lads appear to make. This advert hits the nail on head by using persuasive techniques to create a banterous solution for every guys nightmare in an attempt to sell their product.

In the image you can see what appears to be a hot young couple, naked under the white sheets (try telling me that image hasn’t already got you flustered!). Although not directly seen, the advert uses sexual innuendos as a way of drawing the audience in...after all subliminal sexual messages have been shown to be very effective in advertising (Key, 2003). I can’t think of a better way to attract a males attention!

Not only are sexual innuendos used, but also the principle of association. By the post-it note being attached to this beautiful blondes head, they are transferring her positive traits (her hot body & amazing face) onto their product. This method has proven to be very effective as; product ratings with beautiful models in the past have been shown to increase as opposed to if a model was not present (Smith and Engel, 1968).

What immediately draws our attention in this image is the post-it note attached to the blonde bombshells forehead...’Jade’, and the logo in the corner stating ‘for the little things you’ll forget’. The advertisers have used the irony that this guy is laying in bed with a beautiful blonde, yet knew that in the morning that he would have no recollection of her name, therefore sticking a post-it note on her head to help him avoid that awkward moment in the morning! 
Creating this irony allows the advertisers to connect with their audience through shared humor of the situation (Booth, 1974). Not only this, humor has also been shown in the past to increase the audiences liking of a product through mere association (Madelijn, Baaren, Holland, & Knippenberg, 2009).

This advert also gives off the impression that the hot male in the back of the image has managed to flirt this girl back to his bedroom, automatically relating to those naughty guys (that we all know) that prefer drunken one night stands, to facing their commitment issues! This method is called the similarity principle in which, the advertisers have used this typical guy as a way of building a sense of rapport with the audience based on both his, and their own similar lifestyles. This has been shown in the past to make the audience more likely to comply (Aune & Basil, 1994). Therefore this product allows men to believe that if they buy this product, they too will be able to get attractive girls like the one in the image into bed with them, through a social comparison process (Festinger, 1954).


Aune, R. K. & Basil, M. D. (1994). A relational obligations explanation for the foot-in-the-mouth effect. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 24, 546-556.
Booth , W. C., (1974). A Rhetoric of Iron. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.
Festinger, L. (1954). A theory of social comparison processes. Human Relations, 7, 11 A Meta-Analysis of Humor Effects in Advertising, 7-140.
Key, W. (2003). Subliminal sexuality: The fountainhead for America's obsession. In T. Reichert, & J. Lambiase (Ed.) Sex in advertising: Perspectives on the erotic appeal (pp. 195-212). New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates Publishers.
Madelijn, S., Van Baaren, R., Holland, R., & Van Knippenberg, A. (2009). Humor in advertisements enhances product liking by mere association. Journal of experimental psychology, 15, 35-45.
Smith, G. H., and R. Engel. (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.

Grace Pattison.

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