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.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Time for a pint

This advert is for Guinness, one of the most well-known and popular drinks in society. The poster was originally created by S.H.Benson in 1935 and was mainly featured in Guinness' advertising during World War 2.

The content of the advert is linked to an experience that most of society would have experienced at the time, a war plane flying overhead. Guinness are using humour to tell the audience that in times of great distress, when a plane is threatening to crash into the ground, their drink is what you need, it’s the main character’s lifeline. This amuses the audience, leading you to associate the brand with happiness. Pratkanis and Shadel (2005) found that fraudsters often tailer their scams to characteristics of the target, to be able to effectively persuade them to act in a way that the fraudster would like. Guinness use a similar technique in this advert, as they are trying to appeal to the common man, seen in the image.

The slogan, 'My Goodness, My Guinness,' implies that Guinness is goodness, therefore drinking Guinness will make you feel good, which is a desirable state. Being able to infer an indirect meaning from a slogan gives a feeling of intellectual satisfaction, which will increase the memorability of the slogan, and therefore the brand that is being promoted (Liu, 2012). Rhetorical techniques, such as alliteration and repetition, are also used, giving rhythm to the slogan, making you more likely to remember the slogan in the future, perhaps when you are next at the bar and wondering what drink to order. Rhetorical techniques have been shown to more persuasive than slogans that do not use these techniques (Beasley & Danesi).

Following on from this advert, Guinness remains a hugely successful brand, and continues to create persuasive and memorable adverts to this day. 


Beasley, R., Danesi, M., & Gruyer, W. (2002). Persuasive signs: The semiotics of advertising. Berlin: New York.    

Liu, F. (2012). A study of principal of conversation in advertising language. Theory and Practice in Language Studies, 2, 2619-2623.

Pratkanis, A., & Shadel. D. (2005). Weapons of fraud: A source book for fraud fighters. Seattle: AARP Washington.

Amy Melody

1 comment:

  1. Written very well, though the analysis is small.


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