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, March 3, 2016

Duck Eggs are better than Hen Eggs

Picture 1: Advertisement promoting duck eggs

This advertisement promotes customers to switch from hen eggs to duck eggs. In order to persuade this change in behaviour, this advertisement uses a number of persuasion and influence techniques in tandem.

First of all, the Petty and Cacioppo (1979) Elaboration-Likelihood Model is used (see Picture 2). For low-attention audiences who follow the peripheral route, this ad is appealing with an attractive ad, and expert endorsement (doctor recommended)(Hovland & Weiss, 1951; Coney & Harmon, 1982; Bickman, 1974). Having a credible source of information influences individuals because of their desire to be correct (informational social influence), especially in situations of uncertainty (Wooten & Reed, 1998). It also appeals to high-attention audiences who follow the central route, by using the reputational persuasion technique: admitting duck eggs are more expensive and have high cholesterol; but then making these strengths, that it’s high value for money and the good (HDL) cholesterol is actually suitable for most. Moreover, factual claims about the product’s healthfulness leads to positive attitudes towards the duck eggs, and ultimately increases the likelihood of them buying (Kozup et al., 2003; Roe et al., 1999; Chrysochou & Grunert, 2014).

Picture 2: Elaboration-Likelihood Model

Additionally there’s an element of in-group social identity theory to appeal to Paleo dieters; this combined with a ‘that’s-not-all’ (Burger, 1986) list of additional benefits should help push customers over the tipping point of deciding to try duck eggs.

To turn this intention into action, the foot-in-the-door technique (Pliner et al., 1974; Freedman & Fraser, 1966) is used – offering a voucher code to buy and try their first box of duck eggs. To start a change is much harder than to maintain a change. Therefore, with better enabling the first step, a future loyal customer becomes much more likely.

An alternative but similar ad could use an asymmetric dominance (or contrast effects) influence technique– with 3 boxes of eggs being cross-compared instead of 2 (see picture 3). With the cheap standard hen egg (being unethical and suboptimal), the expensive organic hen egg, and the equally expensive duck egg (being the same price as the organic hen egg, but better value for money).  In both options, we are limiting the choice the customer has to induce them to pick a certain option (Pratkanis, 2007), choose the ‘least-of-evils’ (Lee, 1952). In reality, customers could choose breakfast alternatives like cereal, or choose quail eggs, or choose no-egg cakes e.t.c.

Picture 3: Alternative advertisement using asymmetric dominance

Also alternatively, we could target young audiences, and utilise the more interesting natural colours of duck eggs (green, grey, white). Using fun and humour (Duncan, Nelson & Frontczak, 1984) to appeal to kids (Picture 4). However, this approach is a bit unethical, taking advantage of more impressionable individuals (people younger than 25 are most susceptible).

Picture 4: Alternative advertisement to appeal to younger audiences with colour and fun

Perhaps the advertisement could also include “its your choice” message on the advertisement, making the customers aware that they are free to “say no” and choose freely. Even though this is implicit, such a statement has been shown to increase the effectiveness of the message in changing behaviour (Guégen & Pascual, 2000).

Advertisement Reference List
Local Harvest, (2016). Duck eggs vs Chicken eggs. [online] Available at: [Accessed 3 Mar. 2016].

Modern Farmer, (2015). Everything You Need To Know About Duck Eggs. [online] Available at: [Accessed 3 Mar. 2016].

Paleo Leap, (2014). Eat This: Duck Eggs. [online] Available at: [Accessed 3 Mar. 2016].

Rangachar, T., Setty, S. and Hegde, V. (1970). Cholesterol content in eggs of chicken and duck. Mysore Journal of Agricultural Sciences, 4, pp.146-151.

The Free Range Life, (2013). Duck Eggs vs Chicken Eggs: What's the Difference. [online] Available at: [Accessed 3 Mar. 2016].

Persuasion Techniques Reference List
Bickman, L. (1974). The social power of a uniform. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 4, 47-61.

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. 

Chrysochou P., & Grunert, K. G. (2014). Health-related ad information and health motivation effects on product evaluations. Journal of Business Research67(6), 1209-1217.

Coney, K. A., & Harmon, R. R. (1982). The persuasive effects of source credibility in buy and lease situations. Journal of Marketing Research, 19, 255-260.

Duncan, C., Nelson, J., & Frontczak, N. (1984). The Effect of Humor on Advertising Comprehension. In Advances in Consumer Research (pp. 432-437). Thomas C. Kinnear, Provo, UT : Association for Consumer Research.

Freedman, J. and Fraser, S. (1966). Compliance without pressure: The foot-in-the-door technique. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 4(2), pp.195-202.

Guéguen N. and Pascual A. (2000), Evocation of freedom and compliance: The "But you are free of…" technique, Current Research in Social Psychology, 5, 264-270.

Hovland, C. I., & Weiss, W. (1951). The influence of source credibility on communication effectiveness. Public opinion quarterly15(4), 635-650.

Kozup, J. C., Creyer, E. H., & Burton, S. (2003). Making healthful food choices: the influence of health claims and nutrition information on consumers’ evaluations of packaged food products and restaurant menu items. Journal of Marketing67(2), 19-34.

Zijderveld, Rebecca

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