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, March 3, 2016

A cup of tea really does fix everything...

This advert aims to persuade people to try the 14-day Teatox diet in order to lose weight and improve health, utilising multiple different persuasive techniques.

  1. (Attractive) Celebrity Endorsers

The first persuasive technique used in this poster is the fact that is clearly presents celebrities using the products - Ashley Tisdale and TOWIE’s Jessica Wright. There is a lot of research which has shown that using celebrity endorsers significantly increases the sales of a product. In one study, participants were shown advertisement for an alcohol product, some using celebrity endorsers and the others without celebrities, (Atkin & Block, 1983). Results found that participants viewed the celebrity endorsers as competent and trustworthy, and therefore had more faith in the usefulness of the product. These participants also rated the adverts containing celebrities as more favourable, and the product as more enjoyable and pleasant. Consequently, if we view something as pleasurable, and being recommended from a trustworthy source, we are highly likely to give the product a go ourselves!

The fact that these two celebrities pictured in the advert are both extremely attractive also helps the cause, as physical attractiveness is a major selling point within the marketing world. This is because, when we see an attractive model advertising a product, we automatically make assumptions that the product in hand is contributing to their appearance, therefore we want to join in and get these benefits too! (Trampe, Stapel, Siero, & Mudler, 2010).

  1. ‘Sign up here!’

Another persuasive technique used in this advertisement is the section which asks people to write down their email addresses if they wish to receive offers, and further information from Bootea. This request is quite to increase the amount of people who actually purchase the product, as research suggests that people if a commitment is active, rather than passive, people are a lot more likely to change their behaviour. A study by Cioff & Garner, (1996), found that when trying to recruit volunteers for an AIDS education project amongst schools, people were a lot more likely to actually turn up if they had actively filled out a form stating their interest in taking part, rather than passively showing their interest, by NOT filling out a form which stated they did not want to be involved. Therefore, if people actively show their interest by providing their email address, they are a lot more likely to actually purchase the product as they will want to appear consistent. And the desire for consistency is very well established as being a central motivator for behaviour, (Newcomb, 1953).


Atkin, C., & Block, M. (1983). Effectiveness of celebrity endorsers. Journal of Advertising Research, 23, 57-61.

Cioffi, D., & Garner, R. (1996). On doing the decision: The effect of active versus passive choice on commitment and self-perception. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 25, 1242-1253.

Newcomb, T. (1953). An approach to the study of communicative acts. Psychological Review, 60, 393-404.

Trampe, D., Stapel, D., A., Siero, F., & Multer, H. (2010). Beauty as a tool: The effect of model attractiveness, product relevance, and elaboration likelihood on advertising effectiveness. Psychology & Marketing, 27, 1101-1121.

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