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, February 12, 2015

PETA against Flattery?



This is an example by PETA to encourage people to help save the whales. This advertisement uses an image of a woman who appears to be overweight at the beach to encourage passerby's to "ditch the bubbler." However, depending on where this advertisement is placed, it may appear to be insulting tom some.

As consumers, we like to be flattered. Pratkanis and Abbott (2004) asked people on the street if they would participate in an "anti junk mail" campaign. As this graph shows, when the person asking the participant to participate complimented them before proposing they help with the campaign, ten percent more people took time to "stop junk mail."


By insulting the consumer, PETA is losing quite a bit of potential business. This is because according to Pratkanis and Abbott (2004), if you compliment a consumer first, you are more likely to see more people engage with your product.

Pratkanis, A. R., & Abbott, C. J., (2004). Flattery and compliance with a direct request: Towards a theory of today influence. Unpublished manuscript, University of California, Santa Cruz.

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