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 26, 2015

Ending slave labor is not as easy as just interacting with an advert…

Goldenbery, Mazursky and Solomon (1999) proposed that there are six fundamental templates to good quality advertising; one of these templates is the interactive experiment template. The interactive experiment template requires the person viewing the advert to interact with the advert; often demonstrating how easy the product is to use or highlighting the benefits of such a product. This can be done either by actively engaging with the advert or by simply imagining the interaction with the advert.

The advert above has taken this template and put a clever twist on it. The viewer is still required to actively engage with the advert – by pulling the pages apart you are breaking the handcuffs on the slave’s wrists. However, the message of this advert is the exact opposite of how easy it is to break the chains of slavery: the aim of the advert is highlight how difficult ending slavery is, and how it will take much more effort than what was just required in the advert. The advertisers have then used actively engaging with the advert as a way of emphasizing this and making the viewer truly engage with the message being portrayed through active participation. Enhanced involvement with an advert through the interactive experiment template requires more effortful processing of the message and higher cognitive processing which are useful and effective techniques when the aim of the advert is to cause a behavioral change (in this case ending slavery).

In conclusion, the physical interaction associated with the advert in terms of breaking the slave’s chains mean that the person viewing the advert will engage in more active processing of the message. This in turn should be more likely to result in a behavioral change – ending slavery, as is the ultimate goal of the advert.


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

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