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.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Choose me, or lose me?

Walkers is undoubtedly one of the most well-known brands both in the UK and globally. Recently, the company rolled out their ‘choose me or lose me?’ promotion. This essentially saw some of their classic crisp flavours in the UK being pitted against rival flavours from the US, Spain and Australia.

How was the outcome decided? Consumers had two ways of taking part:

1) Voting online (accounting for 20% of the outcome)
2) Purchasing the flavour they were backing (accounting for 80% of the outcome)

Walkers weren’t short of consumers who took part. This can be attributed to the principle of liking (Cialdini, 2007). When a brand you are aware of and like makes a request from you, you’re more likely to say yes to them.

Of course, the winners were the classic flavours which have been around for years. Surprise? Not really, and here’s why: commitment and consistency.

Once someone has made a choice, they behave in a way that is consistent with the commitment that has been made (Agrawal & Maheswaran). In this case, consumers would have most likely voted and purchased flavours that they had in the past. Only three of the six options had been available in the UK up until now, making it clear as to why these three flavours triumphed over the others as consumers tend to stick to choices they have made in the past.


Agrawal, N., & Maheswaran, D. (2003). The effects of self-construal and commitment on persuasion. Journal of Consumer Research, 31, 841-849.

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

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