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.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Cheryl Cole - Glam Shine by L'Oreal

This advert shows Cheryl (at the time, Cole) using L’Oreal’s Glam Shine lip-gloss. She is an admired celebrity and many young girls (the target audience) aspire to be like her. This advert therefore uses the high status-admirer altercast persuasion technique, which details that others seek to be like someone of high status due to their prestigious position in the status hierarchy. The advert is relying on the fact that many girls will look up to Cheryl Cole, and in an attempt to be more like her, buy the L’Oreal lip-gloss she is using.  Previous research supporting the high status-admirer altercast comes from Lefkowitz, Blake & Mouton (1955) who found that participants were more likely to copy a confederate by jaywalking when the confederate was of high status (dressed in a suit and tie) than low status (dressed in denim).

Cheryl Cole is also known for being very physically attractive, showing that the advert also uses the physically attractive-admirer altercast. This persuasive technique influences people in a similar way to the high status-admirer altercast in that others desire to be like attractive people, and are therefore highly influenced by attractive communicators. This is drawn upon in the advert by Cheryl altering the famous L’Oreal slogan “because you’re worth it” to say “because we’re worth it”, highlighting that buying this product can bring the ordinary consumer to be more like a physically attractive celebrity. Chaiken (1979) provides support for the effectiveness of physically attractive-admirer altercasting. Physically attractive and unattractive university students learned and practiced a persuasive message supporting the suggestion that the university should stop serving meat at breakfast and lunch times. Targets were approached on the university campus and after listening to the communicator present their persuasive message, indicated their agreement with the message on a questionnaire and were asked to sign a petition supporting the removal of meat from canteens at the university during breakfast and lunch times. As can be seen from the table below, attractive, as opposed to unattractive communicators obtained greater agreement with their message, as well as a greater number of participants agreeing to sign the petition. Additionally, females were more likely to agree than males.


This study shows that on both a verbal and behavioural level participants indicated greater agreement with attractive communicators, suggesting that physical attractiveness can enhance communicator persuasiveness.

Chaiken, S. (1979). Communicator physical attractiveness and persuasion. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 37(8), 1387-1397.

Lefkowitz, M., Blake, R. R., & Mouton, J. S. (1955). Status factors in pedestrian violation of traffic signals. The Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, 51(3), 704-706.

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