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.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014


This advertisement tells the story of a man on holiday in Serra Tramuntana (Mallorca, Spain). Throughout the advert, he travels to idyllic places, meeting friends and experiencing new things; most importantly though, an Estrella Damm beer can always be seen in hand.
We always associate attractive people with good characters and positive property traits such as kindness, talent and intelligence. Advertisers use this technique in order to make people feel more comfortable and confident, as well as increase their propensity to buy the product that they are promoting.
However, Baker and Churchill (1977) and Petroshius and Crocker (1989) show that physical attractiveness can lead people to believe a product is more interesting or attractive, however belief of effectiveness or trustworthiness cannot be so easily induced.
Kamins (1990) shows that physical attractiveness does not affect the most important objectives of advertising effectiveness, such as attitude towards the brand, credibility of the advertisement and intention of purchase.
The music in these types of advertisements also plays a very important role; advertisers facilitate the recovery and storage of thoughts and feelings about the product they are trying to advertise. (Zaltman 2003: p166).
Marketing researchers have demonstrated that unconscious reactions to marketing stimuli are more precise indicators of real thought than conscious reactions, so image does not help unconscious learning in a proper way, in the same way as music does not explicitly help with learning and increased attention.
‘Music can accentuate various qualities of visual activities and thereby enhance their perceptual salience.’ (Boltz et al, 1991: p594) so we can conclude that the relationship between music and image is important and enables us to remember the product more easily.
In the research of Alexomanolaki and company, students were divided into two groups according to whether they studied music or not, and each group was shown an episode of “Friends”. The viewing consisted of an advert break, during which four adverts were shown (two familiar, two non-familiar). The target stimulus was a Nescafe advert with four different audio versions: the original jingle which was in English (the universal version); instrumental music known only in Greece (similar to the original, where the music fits the image); instrumental music and voice over (female voice chosen in order to minimize differences in the stimulation of attention, same words as original voiceover); and finally the sound-effect and voice version, in which the backing track is almost the same as the previous version however the music is no longer present.
They measured how memory is affected by a test consisting of three sections: the first measured the overall explicit memory for the episode, the second measured implicit memory, and the third measured explicit memory. In general, they succeed in showing that differences in performance are negligible between the two different groups of participants. They do however highlight that in the music and voiceover version, the group of musicians were better in the implicit memory performance component. In the other versions, there were not substantial differences between groups. The musical reinforcement of the advert influenced the memory performance. They conclude that music is important in emphasizing the perception of the information of the advert in an unconscious way.


Anne M. Brumbaugh (1993) ,"Physical Attractiveness and Personality in Advertising: More Than Just a Pretty Face?", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 20, eds. Leigh McAlister and Michael L. Rothschild, Provo, UT : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 159-164.

Alexomanolaki, M., Loveday, C. & Kennett, C. (2006). Music and Memory in advertising; Music as a device of implicit learning and recall, pp. 1190-1198.   

Gemma Fernández Álvarez

1 comment:

  1. This is nicely detailed Gemma but it doesn't quite read like a blog piece. Try to do this in future attempts.


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