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

Please not them - that annoying lottery advertisement

On TV advertisements, there is a particular catchy yet annoying advertisement from the National-Lottery.

‘Please not them’ - Showing clips of irritating individuals having wanting to win the lottery, and having another voice asking us do we want those people to win? Using rhetorical questions, would increase the cognitive elaboration of information of high relevance (Petty et al., 1981), as we would not really want those irritating people to win it, we are consider the clip as being high in relevance thus we are more likely to be persuaded by the advertisement and subsequently go on and buy a lottery ticket.

Another method is the ‘identifiable victim effect’ where the faces are shown of those individuals who were acting out those infuriating scenarios should they really have won the lottery, even if you don’t know the actors personally, you would still be more persuaded by the identifiable face, rather than just having facts presented to you.

This advertisement also tackles on the salience effect on TV viewers, it is often on the advertisement breaks in between shows, to ‘make sure’ that you are not ‘forgetting’ this advertisement. This message of ‘buying a lottery ticket’ is being constantly reminded, due to the recency effect (Murdock, 1962), people are more likely to go and just buy the ticket to get the message out of their mind.

To make it even more catchy, the advertisement is accompanied with loud noises and colourful backgrounds, this targets on the peripheral route of persuasion, that is, when people are more not thinking effortfully, they are more likely to be persuaded by such kind of peripheral tactics (Petty & Cacioppo, 1986).

In sum, although being rather short (under 30 seconds), there are a lot of effort, targeting at the peripheral route of persuasion. It makes more sense that the advertisement is trying to target on the peripheral route, as we would not want people to consider the act of buying lottery tickets effortfully, as they would realise the chance of winning is extremely low.

Murdock Jr, B. B. (1962). The serial position effect of free recall. Journal of experimental psychology64, 482.
Petty, R. E., Cacioppo, J. T., & Heesacker, M. (1981). Effects of rhetorical questions on persuasion: A cognitive response analysis. Journal of personality and social psychology40, 432.
Petty, R. E., & Cacioppo, J. T. (1986). The elaboration likelihood model of persuasion. In Communication and persuasion. Springer New York.

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