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.

Friday, March 4, 2016

An Apple a day Keeps Anyone Away if you Throw it Hard Enough

Behold! The best (and most persuasive) advertisement awaits you!

The main goal of this advertisement is to make people eat an apple a day because of the reasons mentioned in the advertisement. To reach this goal, this advertisement makes use of different persuasive techniques.

First of all we see a picture of Cristiano Ronaldo (at least I think it's him) eating an apple. Ronaldo is a well known celebrity. He may not be a credible source for food-marketing compared to a doctor, but he is very attractive and popular. Petroshius and Crocker (1989) have shown that attractiveness matters a lot in advertisements. People are more likely to have a positive attitude towards the message of the advertisement if the advertising people are attractive.

Additionally Ronaldo may be a role model for many children. We don't only see a normal picture of Ronaldo: we see (a badly photoshopped version of) him eating an apple! Wansink, Shimizu and Camps (2012) have shown that the best method to make children make healthier food choices (such as an apple a day) is to use role models. If they see ronaldo eating an apple they are more likely to imitate this behaviour.

To maximize the persuasive effect of this advertisement there is a second part of it: the ten reasons why to eat an apple a day. Well, the last reason is not really a reason but a pun. But studies have shown that using puns in advertisements are useful (Van Mulke, Van Snschot-van Dijk and Hoeken, 2005). They found out that using puns lead to the fact that the main message is more likely to be remembered.

Furthermore more research in this are is needed: I made use of the availability heuristic in this advertisement. Ten reasons why people should eat an apple a day are already given. Now I finished the advertisement with the sentences "Can you tell me 10 reasons why you don't? Start right now". People are less likely to find ten reasons why they shouldn't eat an apple a day. So there is a possibility that they start eating an apple a day. To find out whether this method really works on food advertisement or not, some research should be done.

(By the way: if you don't have enough money to fund this advertisement: just tell the company Apple that you can use subliminal advertising for them and they will (hopefully) finance your advertisement and your studies!)

All in all I made use of different persuasive techniques in this advertisement. For me it was really important to use different techniques. It is possible that some techniques won't work on some people. This way I try to ensure that as many people as possible are affected by the persuasive advertisement.
As someone who doesn't eat apples myself, I wanted to research the benefits of eating apples. Creating this advertisement I was able to influence myself!


Boyer, J., & Liu, R. (2004). Apple phytochemicals and their health benefits.Nutrition journal3(1), 1.

Petroshius, S. M., & Crocker, K. E. (1989). An empirical analysis of spokesperson characteristics on advertisement and product evaluations.Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science17(3), 217-225.

Van Mulken, M., Van Enschot-van Dijk, R., & Hoeken, H. (2005). Puns, relevance and appreciation in advertisements. Journal of pragmatics37(5), 707-721.

Wansink, B., Shimizu, M., & Camps, G. (2012). What would Batman eat?: priming children to make healthier fast food choices. Pediatric obesity7(2), 121-123.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.