It is clear that the advert uses social proof to increase the effectiveness of this advert. The advert involves watching a woman being informed about Oral B toothpaste and viewers learning that the toothpaste is the “number one toothpaste most used by dentists”. By stating that it’s the “number one toothpaste” is social proof because it’s informing the viewers that lots of people must think it’s great toothpaste so they themselves should think so too. Social proof is often used in advertising because adverts are short and don’t have long to convince people of the benefits but by simply saying that many others use it is a quick and easy way of convincing many that your product is effective (Cialdini, 2007).
Additionally, the advert is careful to state that many dentists themselves use the toothpaste Oral B. This will encourage viewers that the toothpaste should be rated highly because dentists have a wealth of knowledge about teeth and therefore should be considered a credible source. This is supported by Kelman and Hovland (1953) who found that people often look to experts and trustworthy sources for guidance and can influence the opinion of others. Therefore the advert has linked the message to use Oral B toothpaste with a credible source such as a dentist and when a message is linked to a highly credible source this has been shown to increase persuasion (Maddux & Rogers, 1980).
Overall, this painfully cheesy advert focuses on social proof and credible sources to persuade others to invest in Oral B toothpaste.
Cialdini, R. B. (2007). Influence: The psychology of persuasion. New York: Collins.
Kelman, H. C., & Hovland, C. I. (1953). Reinstatement of the communicator in delayed measurement of opinion change. Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, 48, 327-335.
Maddux, J. E., & Rogers, R. W. (1980). Effects of source expertness, physical attractiveness, and supporting arguments on persuasion: A case of brains over beauty. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 39, 235-244.