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.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Nothing Beats a Londoner

At the beginning of February, Nike launched a new advert titled ‘Nothing beats a Londoner’ which has received over 8.5 million Youtube views and led to an increase by 93% in London searches for Nike products (Shakespeare, 2018). Why was this advert so effective?



The advert uses relatable humour, which research has indicated increases message persuasiveness (Chan, 2011). Chung and Zhao (2003) found a strong, positive relationship between how well remembered and liked an advert was, and its level of humour. Moreover, the Peripheral route of the Elaboration Likelihood Model (Petty & Cacioppo, 1986) requires little to no effort, and persuasion can occur through the prompting of positive emotions that will then become associated with the brand (Petty, Brinol & Priester, 2008).

High Status Admirer Alterast

The advert effectively places well known British celebrities in throughout the clip such as Mo Farah and Harry Kane demonstrating the use of high status admirer altercast. The producers also picked their music wisely, choosing London born Skepta’s popular track ‘Shut Down’ to feature in the ad alongside Skepta himself.
Pratkanis (2007) notes the effectiveness of this as a method of persuasion as individuals tend to want to be part of something that people they aspire to be like are. Moreover, these celebrities are placed in unexpected places and are not shown throughout the whole advert. Petty, Brinol and Priester (2008), argue that when there is a surprising element of a message, its persuasion increases.

Similarity Altercast

The advert features a range of individuals of different races, social classes and occupations encompassing a variety of consumers, an excellent example of the use of similarity altercast (Pratkanis, 2007). Research has shown that similarity between the source and recipient, increases the effectiveness of a message (Pratkanis, 2007). The range of individuals featured in the advert increases the likeliness and span of viewers relating to it.

Social Consensus

The advert’s focus and the message are centred around being a Londoner. The advert ends with the compelling message ‘show you’re a LDNR'. This is an example of using social consensus (Pratkanis, 2007), and can explain why this resulted in London searches for the popular brand increasing so much. Individuals wanted to be part of this group and to show this by becoming a user of the brand.


Chan, F. (2011). Selling through entertaining: The effect of humour in television advertising in Hong Kong. Journal Of Marketing Communications, 17(5), 319-336.
Chung, H., & Zhao, X. (2003). Humour effect on memory and attitude: moderating role of product involvement. International Journal Of Advertising, 22(1), 117-144.
Mehrabian, A. (1968). Inference of attitudes from the posture, orientation, and distance of a communicator. Journal Of Consulting And Clinical Psychology, 32(3), 296-308.
Petty, R., Brinol, P., & Priester, J. (2018). Implications of the elaboration likelihood model of persuasion. Media Effects: Advances In Theory And Research, 2, 64.
Petty, R. E., & Cacioppo, J. T. (1986). The elaboration likelihood model of persuasion. In Communication and persuasion (pp. 1-24). Springer New York.
Pratkanis, A. R. (2007). Social influence analysis: An index of tactics. In A. R. Pratkanis (Ed.), The science of social influence: Advances and future progress, (pp. 17-82). Hove, England: Psychology Press
Shakespeare, S. (2018). YouGov | Nothing beats a Nike ad campaign?. YouGov: What the world thinks. Retrieved 20 March 2018, from

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