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.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

'Go Compare, Go Compare'

'Go Compare, Go Compare'   

The most complained about TV advert in 2013 – Go Compare - depicts the somewhat irritating, portly opera singer belting out the most played jingle used in TV and radio last year. The price comparison website's tenor Gio Compario implores the public repeatedly to "Go Compare, Go Compare" insurance online with his annoying, yet memorable, catchphrase.

   The repetition technique increases the credibility and acceptance of message. In this case, repetition of the company name reinforces and emphases Go Compare. Subsequently, increasing the likelihood people will use it as their future insurance provider. This can be explained via the mere exposure paradigm (Zajonc, 1968). Exposure to the stimulus, in this case ‘Go Compare’ enhances the individual’s attitude towards it.

  Cacippo & Petty (1989) provide supporting evidence that message repetition can enhance persuasion. 102 undergraduates were asked to assess the sound quality of an audiotape, stating all finalists had to pass an exam in their main region of study in order to graduate. The message was either repeated once or three times. Then researchers told the participants, how they rated the quality of the audiotape may effect the committee recommendation to institute exams at their university. Participant completed 9-point scales ranging from favorable to unfavorable regarding the sound quality, how much effort they used thinking about the message and how personally important they felt a recommendation could be.

    As shown above, graph1 demonstrates how agreement elevates when the message was repeated 3 times instead of just once. Arguments repeated 3 times produced significantly better recall (mean = 5.29) than arguments presented once (mean = 3.91). Increased recall led to increased agreement but only for strong arguments, if the argument was weak, repetition did not influence agreement. Therefore results depict, more positive attitudes towards repeated exposure to stimuli. This can explain why ‘Go Compare’ is a successful advert because it repeats their strongest message - their company name. This supporting literature accentuates how repeating strong messages can influence and persuade.

Cacioppo, J. T. & Petty, R. E. (1989). Effects of Message Repetiton on Argument Processing, Recall and Persuasion. Basic and Applied Social Psychology, 10, 3-12.

Zajonc, R. B. (1968). The attitudinal effects of mere exposure. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 9(2, Pt. 2).

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