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.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Usain Bolt‘s Downfall?

This clever ad uses a combination of humor, positive association and the template of the extreme situation in order to attract attention as well as enhancing product qualities and associating it with positive qualities.

The extreme situation template mentioned in Goldenberg, Mazursky and Solomon (1999) research paper represents situations that are unrealistic in order to enhance the prominence of key features in products or services. The ad at hand does this by suggesting that the glue advertised can literally stop the fastest short distance sprinter in his tracks.

This coupled with the tagline saying “A little superglue can help London fix anything” is admittedly pretty funny. Humor is widely used as an advertising tool and past research indicates that even the mere association of a product with humor can enhance product evaluations and increase product choice (Strick, van Baaren, Holland, & van Knippenberg, 2009).

In 2012 the Olympic Games were held in London and the ad made good use of this by associating the positive feelings people had toward the event with the superglue. Through linking a normally neutral product with an event that is positively viewed there is a high chance of transferring the positive values from one event or product to another. This ad transferred the positive feelings concerning the Olympics onto their product (Pratkanis, 2007).

All in all the clever combination of association, humor and extreme situation template while making use of a high profile event that was running at the time prove to be effective in catching attention and creating a sense of trust in the strength of this particular superglue.



Goldenberg, J., Mazursky, D., & Solomon, S. (1999). The fundamental templates of quality ads. Marketing Science, 18(3), 333-351. 

Pratkanis, A. R. (Ed.). (2007). The science of social influence. Psychology Press.

Strick, M., van Baaren, R. B., Holland, R. W., & van Knippenberg, A. (2009). Humor in advertisements enhances product liking by mere association. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied, 15, 35.

Jan Paul Huwe

1 comment:

  1. Great choice of advert, i feel you could have sold it better.


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