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.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

A ProActiv(e) Attempt at Persuasion

ProActiv is a skin-care brand that specialises in reducing spots and acne in adults. They are well-known for using famous celebrities such as Justin Bieber, Lindsey Lohan, Katy Perry and Alicia Keys in their advertisements. However, today I am focussing on the Lindsey Lohan one.

Firstly, the use of celebrity endorsement in advertisements is an efficient way to gain positive outcomes for the company (Erdogan, 2010) especially when the celebrity is perceived as attractive and trustworthy as this boosts the credibility and quality of the product (Spry, Pappu & Bettina, 2011). ProActiv would use Lindsey here because at the time of the adverts release in 2006 she was still a very successful actress who had avoided any negative drama in the tabloids, meaning she was a much more credible source. The advert uses statements such as, ‘now’s your chance to join Lindsey’, as this would persuade others to buy the product because they want to be like Lindsey.

The advert also uses social proof to persuade others to buy the product. When we are looking to buy a product, we want something that is used and rated highly by many people. Knowing that others are using the product gives us the proof we need to come to the conclusion that it is a reliable and efficient product (Cialdini, 2007). By stating that they already have ’10 million customers worldwide’ gives us the impression that ProActiv is a credible brand that are liked and used by many people. This would persuade others to go out and buy it!

The advert also uses the persuasive technique of mere exposure, the idea that we like things more when they are familiar to us (Zajonc, 1968). Throughout the two-minute advert, the ProActiv bottles are shown 10 times! It has been shown that the more you are exposed to a product, the greater your liking ratings are for the product (Bornstein & D’agostino, 1992). This means that the advertisers have exposed us to the product multiple times to increase our implicit liking for it, giving us a higher desire to purchase ProActiv.

Did Lindsey Lohan persuade you to buy it? She DEFINITELY uses it… remember she has it in her car too… (?)!


Bornstein, R. F., & D'agostino, P. R. (1992). Stimulus recognition and the mere exposure effect. Journal of personality and social psychology63, 545-552.

Cialdini, R. B. (2007). Influence: The psychology of persuasion. New York: Collins.

Erdogan, B. Z. (1999). Celebrity endorsement: A literature review. Journal of marketing management15, 291-314.

Spry, A., Pappu, R., & Bettina Cornwell, T. (2011). Celebrity endorsement, brand credibility and brand equity. European Journal of Marketing45, 882-909.

Zajonc, R. B. (1968). Attitudinal effects of mere exposure. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 9, 1-27.

No comments:

Post a Comment

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