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.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Subway for lunch!?

The advert above is trying to emphasise how fresh food chain Subway can help to lose weight. The individual is holding, what would be his old jeans, to show his original size. Therefore those who would like to be slimmer can eat at Subway and gain results.

However, as we know we cannot make this association simply by the advert shown.  Firstly, what is Subway? Someone without any knowledge of the fresh sandwich brand will not be able to acknowledge the brand and make a quick association. So there needs to be more emphasis on specifically how Subway can help to decrease weight. There is no mention of how it has fresh breads baked on the day and the ability to choose as much salad as you like.

If Subway were specifically hoping to attract those who may be looking to watch their figure or downsize, I would have used a credible source in a short video rather than a single image. A reliable individual could actually explain the benefits of Subway. Rather than this individual just showing a larger pair of jeans with the brand image above.  

A dietician or nutritionist would be more trustworthy than the average individual portrayed above. So an improvement would be to use the Expert-Unknowing Public Altercast technique.  Their knowledge and expertise in the field can help to influence the benefits of Subway on your health. They can explain the facts regarding: decreases in calorie intake, fat and salt. All of which can help you to lose weight.

Research by Pratkanis and Gliner (2004-05), highlighted how message effectiveness differs depending upon the individual conveying it. Two types of messages were given to a set of students, nuclear disarmament or the existence of a tenth planet. The source of the message differed; it was either a child or an expert in the area.  Figure 1 below shows how an expert source is more effective, when the message is technical, like the existence of a tenth planet. But a child is a more effective source when the message is regarding protection. 

Figure 1

Overall from the research we can suggest for a technical message, a short video advertisement with an expert source stating the facts and benefits will be more effective. It may encourage individuals to buy a healthy lunch, from Subway.

Pratkanis, A. R., & Gliner, M. D. (2004-2005). And when shall a little child lead them? Evidence for an altercasting theory of source credibility. Current Psychology, 23, 279-304.

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