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 21, 2018

Labels are for Clothes: Love Yourself like River Island loves their Models  

In recent years, it has come to the attention of the media that models have a particular ‘look’. Although the industry is trying its best to move away from the ‘super skinny’ image (Sykes, 2017) it appears there is still a long way to go. River island have recently started their ‘Labels are for Clothes’ campaign. It is encouraging people to love the skin they’re in and to discourage judgement of others. The campaign features a variety of different people; people with dark skin, light skin, people of different ethnicities, people with tattoos, people with developmental disorders and many more. But how will this help their sales?

The contrast principle (Cialdini, 2009) suggests that people will compare things (in this case the fact that River Island are using a range of different looking models) to other similar things (i.e. other clothing companies which do not use different looking models). This is an innovating idea with a catchy slogan ‘Labels are for Clothes’ so it is likely than River Island’s name will be in the consumer’s mind when shopping for clothes, making them more likely to shop there. It also increases the likelihood of people who perceive themselves as a little different to others will choose their shop.

River Island are not the only ones to have caught on. Missguided (an online clothing retailer) have recently stopped editing stretch marks on their models in an attempt to normalise them and with that, boost confidence of their customers.

Cialdini, R. B. (2009). Influence: pearson new international edition. London: pearson education M. U. A.  

Sykes, S. (2017, September 6). Six countries taking steps to tackle super skinny models. Retrieved from

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