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.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

But wait... There's more!!! Use of the "that's-not-all technique" in a JML blender advertisement

Link to video advertisement:

The above advertisement is an example of the "that's-not-all technique" (Burger, 1986; Pratkanis, 2007).  This technique involves presenting an initial offer, then adding further extras to the deal after a short delay (during which the target of persuasion cannot respond). The JML "Rapido 8-in-1" advertisement uses the "that's-not-all technique" by first introducing the product (a blender) and its main functions, and then (after short pauses) including a series of further accessories to convince viewers the deal is being improved (e.g. several different add-ons and attachments, a free recipe book, etc.). The narrator exemplifies the "that's-not-all technique" in the second half of the video, exclaiming statements such as "but wait, in this 21-piece set, you'll also get...", and "wait... we're not finished yet...". Rather than presenting all the "extra" accessories as included in one package at the start, the advertisement appears to "throw in" a series of extras, which appear to improve upon the initial offer.

Research findings have supported the effectiveness of the "that's-not-all technique" in persuading audiences. In the first of seven studies by Burger (1986), participants were either offered a cupcake and two cookies for 75 cents (control condition), or were offered a cupcake for 75 cents initially, and the two cookies were then included after a short pause (that's-not-all condition). Importantly, a cupcake and two cookies were offered for the exact same price in both conditions: The only thing that was systematically different was the way the offer was phrased between conditions (i.e. whether or not the "that's-not-all technique" was used). The results of Burger's (1986) first experiment are detailed below in Figure 1.

Figure 1: Graph showing percentage of participants purchasing at least one cupcake and cookie package in the control and "that's-not-all" conditions. Figure created using data from Burger (1986), Experiment 1.

As shown in Figure 1, Burger (1986) found that 40% of participants in the control condition purchased at least one package of one cupcake and two cookies, whereas 73% of those in the "that's-not-all" condition purchased at least one package (a statistically significant difference). These results provide clear support for the effectiveness of the "that's-not-all technique", as using it almost doubled sales! Similarly, Burger's (1986) second experiment demonstrated that lowering the price from the initial offer was also effective at increasing sales.

The "that's-not-all technique" is thought to persuade audiences via two key mechanisms (Pratkanis, 2007). Firstly, it utilises the norm of reciprocity (the idea that we feel obliged to return the favour when given something: Gouldner, 1960; Pratkanis, 2007). This is done by (repeatedly, in the JML advertisement) improving the deal for the target of persuasion, so that they feel more inclined to comply. Secondly, the "that's-not-all technique" also makes use of the contrast principle (Cialdini, 2007; Pratkanis, 2007), as the "improved" deal is seen as offering more value than the initial offer.

As Burger's (1986) findings demonstrate, including further "extras" into a deal shortly after the initial offer increases compliance, by convincing the target(s) of persuasion that the earlier deal has been improved upon. In the case of JML's advertisement for the "rapido 8-in-1" blender, the use "that's-not-all technique" could lead viewers to perceive the long series of "extra" accessories as improving the deal, despite the fact they were always going to be included in the price. It should be noted that the JML advertisement's use of the "that's-not-all technique" differs slightly from that used by Burger (1986), in that the price of the deal was not made salient at the beginning of the advertisement. Nonetheless, the "rapido 8-in-1" advertisement makes use of the "that's-not-all technique" by continuously adding extras items into the deal, quickly and repeatedly making the initial offer appear improved upon before viewers have time to respond. 

Burger, J. M. (1986). Increasing compliance by improving the deal: The that’s-not-all technique. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 51(2), 277-283.
Cialdini, R. B. (2007). Influence: The psychology of persuasion. New York: Collins.
Gouldner, A. W. (1960). The norm of reciprocity: A preliminary statement. American Sociological Review, 25(2), 161-178.
Pratkanis, A. R. (Ed.). (2007). The science of social influence: Advances and future progress. Psychology Press.

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