This video is part of the THINK! Campaign for 2017 to highlight the dangers of driving whilst looking at your mobile phone. Mobile phones are very much integrated in western society, with people unable to cope without looking at their phone for short amounts of time. Many know the dangers of texting/calling whilst driving, but often fail to see the danger in looking at ones phone for just a couple of seconds. As the video states “At 30mph a car travels 100ft in 2.3 seconds”. The use of facts from a seemingly credible source makes the message more persuasive. Research has shown that the credibility of a source can influence persuasion of the audience, with authoritative sources increasing compliance (Milgram, 1963; Cialdini, 2009). For high credibility sources, presenting the message before the source has been shown to positively influence attitude towards the message (Sternthal, Dholakia &Leavitt, 1978). For this video, the source is ‘officially’ shown at the end of the video, but the source can actually be determined from the start due to its title.
Furthermore, the idea of a pink kitten connotes innocence and fun. The pairing of the pink kitten image on the driver’s phone, with the child’s pink kitten toy as they are about to be hit emphasises that whilst one may see glancing at their phone briefly whilst driving as an innocent act, it could ultimately take an innocent person’s life. This vivid image of the child and their mother about to be stuck by the car evokes emotion from the audience and is shocking as up until that point it is almost a game for the audience to spot all the pink kittens within the video. This ‘emotional see-saw’ has been demonstrated as increasing compliance within studies. Dolinski and Nawrat (1998) found that by evoking positive emotions (e.g. telling participants they had found money) and quickly withdrawing them (e.g. then telling participants they actually had not found any money) compliance with requests increased more compared to controls.
Cialdini, R. B. (2009). Influence, Science and Practice (5th Ed.). Essex: Pearson Education.
Dolinski, D. & Nawrat, R. (1998). “Seesaw of Emotions” and Compliance: Beyond the Fear-Then-Relief Rule. The Journal of Social Psychology, 147(5), 556-571.
Milgram, S. (1963). Behavioural study of obedience. Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, 67, 371-378.
Sternthal, B., Dholakia, R., & Leavitt, C. (1978). The Persuasive Effect of Source Credibility: Tests of Cognitive Response. Journal of Consumer Research, 4, 252-260.