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.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Viagra, the Quicker Pecker Upper


The above is a printed advert for Viagra, a drug which helps to alleviate erectile dysfunction. The adverts depict an older man and an overweight man on a card cutout, which are believed to be two groups of men which tend to suffer from erectile dysfunction (Moreira et al., 2003).

The advert uses both an interactive and pictorial analogy template (Goldenberg, Mazursky & Solomon, 1999) to demonstrate that Viagra helps men achieve an erection. The interaction element is used by having the recipient put their thumb through the provided hole in the printed advert. The pictorial analogy takes form in the replacement version, where the thumb is put through the hole where, if there were not an erect penis may take its place. So your thumb is replacing a man’s penis, which may not be too appropriate.

The advert also uses humour and similarity to increase likability to the product. It has been shown that humorous people are more likeable than those who aren’t (Morkes, Kernal & Nass, 1999). This is because we experience a pleasurable with the humorous individual as they made us laugh, and so we want to be able to be around them more, and as a result enjoy their company (Graham, Papa & Brooks, 1992). Viagra in general often uses humorous adverts, and by doing so we associate them with positive feelings. This can make a potentially embarrassing situation (asking about Viagra) feel less negative.

The similarity aspect is brought in by using the two groups that are more likely to experience erectile dysfunction, older and overweight men (Moreira et al., 2003). As these are the two main groups that are affected by erectile dysfunction, by showing someone that may be similar to the customers, the customers will feel more favourable, and like the product better (Burger et al., 2004).

Overall, this advert shows a great use of humour and interaction to portray the general message of what the drug is used for. Viagra gets two thumbs up from me.


References:
Burger, J. M., Messian, N., Patel, S., del Prado, A., & Anderson, C. (2004). What a coincidence! The effects of incidental similarity on compliance. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin , 30, 35-43.

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

Graham, E. E., Papa, M. J., & Brooks, G. P., (1992). Functions of humor in conversation: Conceptualization and measurement. Western Journal of Communication, 56, 161-183.

Moreira, D. D., Lobo, C. F. L., Diament, A., Nicolosi, A., & Glasser, D. B., (2003). Incidence of erectile dysfunction in men 40 to 69 years old: results from a population-based cohort study in Brazil. Adult Urology, 61, 431-436.

Morkes, J., Kernal, H. K., & Nass, C. (1999). Effects of humor in task-oriented human-computer interaction and computer-mediated communication: A direct test SRCT theory. Human-Computer Interaction, 14, 395-435.

Ariadna Rodriguez Barclay

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