They could have made this advertisement more effective by using a scenario that will appeal to the plain folk/similarity alter cast. No one looking at this ad will be able to relate to the situation, so if instead it appealed to an actually everyday situation and how effective the soap is in say getting off paint or marker from your hands from playing with the children, or something to that effect, it would have a much greater appeal. The similarity alter cast method highlights how similar the audience is to the person in the ad, making it more relatable. Research has shown source-recipient similarity increases persuasion and influence.
In a study by Stotland, Zander and Natsoulas (1964), female participants were put in a cubicle and given microphones to speak to the experimenter, and other participants. The microphones were actually dead, and they were listening to a pre-recorded transcript. They were told the other people they could hear were person 'A' and 'B' and that they were 'C' and that after each question they have to write down the others responses as well as their own. First, they all listened to various melodies and stated their favourites, and the participant was made aware that participant A or B happened to like most of the same ones as her, making them similar. The participants then stated which nonsense syllable out of a set they most preferred, out of a set of two shown to them on cards. The participant recorded A and B’s preferences (the first syllable or the second syllable) before choosing her own. She was led to believe her microphone broke, meaning the others could not hear her response. The participant then responded to a questionnaire about her preference of names, in which she was also asked to say what she thought A and B’s preferences would be.
As the table above shows, it was found that when participants noticed similarities between themselves and the other participant, they then tended to agree with the person they perceived as musically similar to themselves, choosing the same syllables as them, provided that opinions on the music were strong. Participants also projected their preferences onto the person they perceived as being similar to them, stating that they would prefer the same names they did.
This demonstrates that, for example, the ad could instead have shown a more realistic example of everyday household use of the soap as stated above, such as involving a messy activity with the children , which would have proven more effective in appealing more to audiences.
Maddux, J. E., & Rogers, R. W. (1983). Protection motivation and self-efficacy: A revised theory of fear appeals and attitude change. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 19(5), 469-479.
Bushman, B., & Bonacci, A. (2002). Violence and sex impair memory for television ads. Journal Of Applied Psychology, 87(3), 557-564.