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.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Sony's 'bouncy balls' are awesome

(do watch this in 1080p setting if you can – you won’t regret it!)

Sony created this advert for their ‘Bravia’ TV range. The two and a half minute film first hit UK screens in 2005 (which really doesn’t feel like that long ago!) and, despite its length, is probably one of my favourite adverts of all time. Jessica Seddon chose to analyse the ad this time last year; this is my attempt at a re-analysis.

The first thought that comes to mind whilst watching this ad is that it is highly unusual (obviously it’s not everyday that you seen a gazillion brightly coloured balls shooting down a suburban street…). It immediately demands the viewer’s attention. Interest is piqued in the ad as it is not obvious what is being advertised – in fact, we only discover this right at the end of the commercial. Unusual messages or requests such as this induce positive feelings towards the product (Santos, Leve, and Pratkanis, 1994).

The ad relies heavily on association and metaphor to sell the product. For instance, the colour of the balls as compared with the street scene creates contrast, and is used as a metaphor for the product; it implies that this is what the TV will provide, as exemplified by the slogan, “colour. Like no other”. Extended metaphors such as the one examined in this ad are highly persuasive (Sopory and Dillard, 2002). People (and animals) in the ad stop to take in the unlikely scene unfolding in front of them. Through classical conditioning this associates the traits ‘unusual’ and ‘creative’ with the product – the message is that if the consumer buys the TV, their life will become a little less ordinary. This boosts positive affect towards the product (Kim, Lim, and Bhargava, 1998), increasing the likelihood of compliance (or rather, buying the TV).

Sony also makes use of some creativity templates, as identified by Goldenberg, Mazursky and Solomon (1999). The “competition” template is used clearly in the slogan “like no other” – Sony are implying that there is no TV that exists which can compete with the quality of the Bravia. The “extreme situation” template is evident with the use of the brightly coloured balls - the key attribute of the product, colour, is enhanced and exaggerated.

The advert leaves the consumer with many questions, such as, “was that real?”, and if so, “how did they do it?”, which leads another pertinent question: “how did they get permission to do that?” For that reason, it really leaves a lasting impression on the idle TV watcher’s mind.

And if you were wondering: yes, the bouncy balls are real. Yes, they are crazy. And no, I’m not sure how they got permission to do this. But this video might clear things up a little… 


Kim, J., Lim, J. S., & Bhargave, M. (1998). The role of affect in attitude formation: A classical conditioning approach. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 26, 143-152.

Goldenberg, J., Mazursky, D., & Solomon, S. (1999). The fundamental templates of quality ads. Marketing Science18, 333-351.

Santos, M. D., Leve, C., & Pratkanis, A. R. (1994). Hey buddy, can you spare seventeen cents? Mindful persuasion and the pique technique. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 24, 755-764.

Sopory, P., & Dillard, J. P. (2002). The persuasive effects of metaphor: A meta-analysis. Human Communication Research, 28, 382-419.

Lauren Rosewarne (Blog 2)


  1. The new Sony Tv which is 84-inch called Sony XBR-84X900 84-Inch 120Hz 4K Ultra HD 3D Internet LED UHDTV , comprises the all big features like cinemas, 3D technology, internet and much more.


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