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.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Shark vs Dyson Vacuum Cleaners: Competition Template

This portable, hand vacuum cleaner ad, is an example of the competition template, in The Fundamental Templates of Quality Ads made by Goldenberg, Mazursky and Solomon in 1999. In the competition template, a product is shown winning in competition with another product or event. The selection of the other product or event is often guided by superiority over advertised product, showing how the other product is from a different class or category. More specifically, this is the worth in competition version of the competition template, where it relates to whether the competition challenges the worth of the product, which it does.

Here, the Shark vacuum cleaner is being compared with the Dyson vacuum cleaner. It is specifically saying how the Shark is much better, because while Shark ticks six of the indicated criteria, ultra light upright, no loss of suction technology, convenient go-anywhere versatility, more cleaning capacity, better deep down carpet cleaning and cleans carpets better than a full size Dyson, the Dyson only ticks the first three criteria. Thus, not only are the producers of the Shark vacuum cleaner saying that they are better, but they are also calling out the problems of the competition in a very blunt way. They do this in the hope that the consumers will immediately buy the Shark vacuum cleaner, and not think twice about the Dyson vacuum cleaner.

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


  1. I will agree though that it usually makes at the shark vs dyson vacuum cleaners.

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  3. See what he did there? High wattage is assumed to equate to high suction, which roomba reviews


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