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.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

The Ocean is NOT Your Rug

The way humans use and treat the ocean is awful, dumping our litter and waste in the big blue, taking it for granted and assuming it will be fine to do as we please with it. The ad below does an excellent job of playing on a common act of ‘sweeping something under the rug’ and pretending it’s not there:

This ad very cleverly uses this common theme of sweeping things under a rug as a means of cleaning and tidying, playing on the fact such an act does not get the job done and relating it to the treatment of the sea as a giant rug to hide our waste. The use of the pictorial analogy template is an example of the creativity templates identified by Goldenberg et al. (1999). The advertisers rely on the effects of the combination of surprise and regularity to convey a message and enforce a behaviour.

In this instance, the  analogy of the sea as a rug causes surprise in the viewer of the ad, gaining their attention and hints at the problem with waste, and the sentence “Just because you can’t see it, doesn’t mean it isn’t there” highlights the problem with humans taking the ocean for granted and not thinking about the consequences of leaving our waste in the ocean.

A very clever ad about a very large problem, these advertisers did well in bringing this issue to the forefront of people’s minds.

Goldenberg, J., Mazursky, D. et al. (1999). The fundamental templates of quality ads.  Marketing Science, 333-351.

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