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.

Friday, February 26, 2016

It's not just a fad. Go Dairy-Free

The advert above aims to persuade people to drop foods with dairy in them and take up a dairy-free diet instead. It uses a few persuasion techniques to persuade audiences to do this:

First, the advert makes use of celebrity endorsement. Celebrity endorsement positively influences consumer attitudes towards brands or messages (Belch & Belch, 1994). They do this because celebrities are seen as credible (Goldsmith et al, 2000). As credibility increases, the acceptation of the message also increases (Erdogan, Baker, & Tagg, 2001). The celebrities shown in the advert are also trustworthy and liked (according to some people) and when consumers like celebrities, they automatically trust them (Friedman, Santeramo & Traina, 1978), leading to increased credibility. The end result will be that consumers will wish to to identify themselves with the celebrity and therefore will go dairy free (Cohen & Golden, 1972). 

Second, the advert makes us of expertise endorsement in persuading consumers. Expert opinions can influence someone’s perception of a product or message. In using the name Cameron Wells M.P.H., R.D., people would believe that the person who is quoted is an expert in their field and is therefore credible. Indeed, the more expertise there is, the more effective the endorsement will be (Amos, Holmes & Strutton, 2008). I also used WWF as a source for why we should go dairy-free as they are very reputable charity.

Finally, in using the pros of a dairy-free diet and the cons of a dairy diet I’m focusing on the central route of persuasion in the elaboration-likelihood model. The credible sources used, which are also referenced in the advert, will be very influential (Petty & Cacioppo, 1983) as they directly engage the viewer. The effect of this is that the person reading this advert will actually think about going dairy-free and thus will not be engaged peripherally.


Amos, C., Holmes, G., & Strutton, D. (2008). Exploring the relationship between celebrity endorser effects and advertising effectiveness: A quantitative synthesis of effect size. International Journal of Advertising,27(2), 209-234.

Belch, G., Belch, M., (1994). Introduction to advertising and promotion: An integrated marketing communications perspective, ed. 3, Irwin: Homewood, 189-192.

Cohen, J. B., & Golden, E. (1972). Informational social influence and product evaluation. Journal of applied Psychology, 56(1), 54.

Erdogan, B. Z., Baker, M. J., & Tagg, S. (2001). Selecting celebrity endorsers: The practitioner's perspective. Journal of advertising research,41(3), 39-48.

Friedman, H. H., Santeramo, M. J., & Traina, A. (1978). Correlates of trustworthiness for celebrities. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 6(4), 291-299.

Goldsmith, R. E., Lafferty, B. A., & Newell, S. J. (2000). The impact of corporate credibility and celebrity credibility on consumer reaction to advertisements and brands. Journal of advertising, 29(3), 43-54.

Petty, R. E., Cacioppo, J. T., & Schumann, D. (1983). Central and peripheral routes to advertising effectiveness: The moderating role of involvement. Journal of consumer research, 135-146.

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