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, February 6, 2014

latest trend: Winter Collection

"The world has enough for everyone's need, but not enough for everyone's greed" 
- Mahatma Gandhi.

Image was taken from an ad campaign “New Ark Mission of India: Winter Collection”. This campaign was set up to encourage donation to help poor, homeless and dying people of the streets of India, particularly in preparation towards the upcoming winter at that particular time.

This picture of an Indian girl wearing makeshift clothes from waste cardboard, with no accessories and footwear was aimed to capture the hardship and suffering of Indian people in this social class. In addition, having children to pose as models instead of adults further intensifies the image. The setting also plays a part. Set in front of a plain background, we usually come across posters with similar settings displaying elegant models with the latest trends. Similar concept was introduced in this picture. Furthermore, people are indirectly subjected to compare and contrast this image to what they usually expect to see in these kinds of adverts – models. As a consequence, this creates contrastingly ‘shocking’ image, producing attention-grabbing advertisement (Parry, Jones, Stern, & Robinson, 2013).

Also, the addition of narrative “Winter Collection” further reinforces the contrast as stated above. Using simple language in an inappropriate context in the message gives a twist to the advert, grabbing attention and raising curiosity. Leech (1966) proposed that using simple language in inappropriate context, as applied in this image, is part of the features of a successful advertisement. Previous blog author also pointed out another “selling point” of this image – empathy. In general, this is the use of emotional response. Instead of happy and positive advertisement, image of the sad girl might lead to a heart-felt response. Research has also supported the use of this technique in order to produce more effective charity advertisement. Burt and Strongman (2004) demonstrated that both images of children and images of negative emotions contributed towards generating emotional reactions and significantly larger donations respectively.

In conclusion, a simple yet emotional advertisement like the above is particularly effective to encourage charity donation.


Nadhir Anuar

Burt, C., & Strongman, K. (2004). Uses of Images in Charity Advertising: Improving Donations and Compliance Rates. International Journal of Organisational Behaviour, 8(8), 571-580.

Leech, G. N. (1966). English in advertising: A linguistic study of advertising in Great Britain. London: Longmans.

Parry, S., Jones, R., Stern, P., & Robinson, M. (2013). ‘Shockvertising’: An exploratory investigation into attitudinal variations and emotional reactions to shock advertising. Journal of Consumer Behaviour, 12(2), 112-121.

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