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.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

In his pocket

This picture featured on billboards across the country during the 2015 General Election. It shows Ed Miliband, then-leader of Labour, literally in the pocket of then-leader of the Scottish National Party (SNP): Alex Salmond. The picture is very striking and without words, conveys the idea that voting for Labour meant voting for the SNP.

This uses a Consequences Template, one of the creativity templates that Goldenberg, Mazursky and Solomon (1999) found categorised 50% of award winning ads. Extreme Inverted Consequence templates show an absurdly over-the-top, but truth-based, consequence for not using a product. Here the product is voting Conservative, and the truth-based consequence for not voting for them was (so the Conservatives claimed) getting a Labour leader controlled by the SNP. It is taken to absurd extremes by showing a tiny Ed in Alex’s pocket!

The picture is funny; in an election, advertisers want a message that will stick in people’s minds, and humour can help. Chung and Zhao (2003) asked Super Bowl viewers to list all the adverts they had seen during the game. They found a strong positive relationship between the degree of humour in adverts, and people’s memory and liking of them.

Chung, H., & Zhao, X. (2003). Humour effect on memory and attitude: moderating role of product involvement. International Journal of Advertising, 22, 117-144.
Goldenberg, J., Mazursky, D., & Solomon, S. (1999). The fundamental templates of quality ads. Marketing science, 18, 333-351.

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