This advert by Shu Uemura intended to persuade customers to buy their new collection. Shu Uemura is a famous Japanese brand which sells cosmetics and skincare products. This design of this new collection collaborated with Japan contemporary kimono artist, Mamechiyo. The advert focused on the beautiful and elegant design of the product. However, it did not explain the functions of the new products and what kind of customers was their target. This made the advert less persuasive to the customers.
To make it to be more persuasive, the technique, similarity altercast should be used as researches had demonstrated that communicator-communicatee similarity increases influence and persuasion. Berscheid (1966) investigated the relationship between the communicator- communicate similarity and persuasiveness. In the experiment, the participants were required to read a paragraph about education and a paragraph about international affairs. After that, the participants had to fill in a 10-scale questionnaire (ranged from -6 to 6) on whether they agreed with the paragraphs or not.
Then, after listening to the instructions, participants had to fill in 2 scales: Educational Value Scale and International Affairs Value Scale. A confederate would observe what points of scale the participant has chosen. The confederate will take the positions which were 3 points away from the participants’ initial scale. The experimenter would mark the scales with large keys so the participants would know exactly what points the confederates had chosen.
After that, the experimenter told half of the participants that their values on education were extremely similar to other fellow’s values. The experimenter would continue to ask what scores they had chosen in the education value scale and the reasons why they chose to tick that score. For another half of the participants that their values on international affairs were extremely similar to other fellow’s values. The experimenter would continue to ask what scores they had chosen in the international affair value scale and the reasons why they chose to tick that score.
The result showed that there was a higher level of opinion change in education values when the participants were told that they had similar educational values with the confederates. Similarly, a higher level of opinion change in international affairs was showed when the when the participants were told that they had similar international affairs values with the confederates. This study indicated that similarity is effective in promotion when there is a shared similarity within the communicator and the recipient.
By using this persuasive technique, Shu Uemura could find some staffs who are in the same group with the target customers and ask them to give some good comments on the products. Apart from staffs, they could also find people who have the same occupation or similar skincare concern with the target customers to talk about the effectiveness of the new products. In that case, Shu Uemura would be able to attract more customers to buy the new collection.
Berscheid, E. (1966). Opinion change and communicator-communicatee similarity and dissimilarity. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 4, 670-680.