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.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Stop Flapping About.

Personally I think that this is an example of an unpersuasive advertisement, although it can be seen that the company are trying to persuade the viewer with a play on the word ‘freedom’ and their product being called Freederm.  However, it is a lengthy advertisement with the product only being shown for 2 seconds at the end; I would have switched the channel over by this point.  Also, I think the theme of the advert does not relate well to the product and has little relevance.

To improve this advertisement I would make it more applicable to the target audience, in this case young adults with spot difficulties.  Similarity to the communicator has been shown to have a positive effect on persuading individuals and contributing towards attitude change. Thus, it would be more effective if the advert used a teenager to promote their product instead of a bird as the audience could identify with them. This would be using the Similarity Altercast technique.

Mills and Jellison (1968) demonstrated this in their study in which college women read the same passage with varying introductions which either matched the individual or not. Thus, some were informed that the communicator was a musician and the readers he addressed were music students, some that the communicator was an engineer and those he addressed were engineering students, some that the communicator was a musician and those he addressed were engineering students, and some that the communicator was an engineer and those being addressed were music students.

From Table 1 it can be seen that the agreement with communicator’s position was greater in the similar conditions (musician matched with music students and engineer matched with engineer students) than in the different conditions (musician matched with engineer students and engineer matched with music students).

The results provide good support for the hypothesis that a communicator will be more persuasive
when the audience thinks he felt similar to the audience he addressed than when they think he felt dissimilar to those he addressed.

Thus, in terms of the advert if the individuals feel that the person in the advert feels similar to them, I.E a teenager fed up with having spots, who wants a solution then this communicator will be more effective than a bird, which has no similar feelings to the audience and the audience cannot relate to. 

Mills, J., & Jellison, J. M. (1968). Effects on opinion change of similarity between the communicator and the audience he addressed. Journal of personality and social psychology, 9 (2), 153 – 156.  

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