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.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

EXTREMELY good toothpaste

These two adverts both encourage people to buy their individual brand of toothpaste. The first advert shows the man who use Formula toothpaste being able to chew through the billboard, with his ‘strong teeth’. Whereas the second advert implies that those people who don’t use AIM toothpaste will end up having to get dentures.
The above adverts can both be seen as examples of the Consequences Template being used. Particularly the Extreme consequences template version.

According to Goldenberg, Mazursky and Solomon (1999) the extreme consequences template is a tool that is used to present the extreme consequences of an emphasized product attribute. In the advert, a clear message is presented that highlights either the consequences of executing or failing to execute the recommendation advocated in the ad.  Typically the recommendation is to buy/ use the particular product advertised for its amazing feature. Consequences are based on taking the key attribute to the extreme, even at times going as far to portray unrealistic consequences, although they do not have to be absurd/ fully realistic consequences- generally it is exaggerated to the max. The absurdity and extreme unrealism of the consequences are obvious and recognizable by the viewer. Below is a visual illustration in the form of a diagram that shows the general schematic of the template.

Here is the same schematic but applied to the toothpaste adverts:

As can be seen both adverts use the extreme consequences template in slightly different ways. 
The first advert, showing the man chewing through the billboard, highlights the toothpastes’ attribute as ‘makes strong teeth’. The message is that your teeth will become so strong that they will be able to chew through anything- extreme consequence of product attribute used in a way as to make the toothpaste more positive.The second advert highlights AIM toothpastes ability to keep teeth ‘healthy and long-lasting’ the extreme consequence of not using this product is that the person will have bad decaying teeth and will need the dentures either now or later- extreme consequence of NOT USING product. Attribute framed in a way as to make the toothpaste more positive.

Both adverts highlight the consequences of buying their particular brand of toothpaste. The first can be said to be more extreme and unrealistic, whereas the second still highlights a consequence and uses the consequence template but is just less extreme in its realism.

Personally speaking though I'd choose the Formula toothpaste if I had to buy between the two.The over-extreme consequences just seems more entertaining and differentiates it from other brands. Also now I'm wondering of all the possibilities available if I could chew through LITERALLY anything... 


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

1 comment:

  1. Very nice article! The quality of toothpaste also ensures your dental health. My Torrance dentist always suggests opting for the herbal toothpaste as the herbal ingredients are very good for our teeth.


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