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

WARNING: Boohoo’s twitter page will have you breaking your bank!

As you may know, Zendaya and Boohoo are doing a collaboration and I am here for it! It turns out, a lot of girls are, and Boohoo are putting that fact to good use in their persuasion techniques.

These are some examples of retweets by the official Boohoo page of customers expressing their excitement about the collaboration and their intention to buy. This clever tactic manages to employ the scarcity effect and social proof effect simultaneously.

If ‘everyone’ as portrayed by the exclusively positive tweets Boohoo displays, is interested in buying as soon as these items are released, then there is the possibility of a scarcity effect. This is because the competition will be high, and stocks will be limited so consumers may believe they need to stay on their toes and buy as soon as the opportunity becomes available. This is an example of scarcity in time and number (Cialdini, 2014). Additionally, most people will think that they ought to be excited about this collaboration because that is how everyone else feels. This is an example of social proof (Cialdini, 2014). Those who are not too sure what to behave like in a certain novel situation, are likely to follow suit of others.

So, if you don’t want to spend any money on clothes, shoes, bags, and all those other lovely things right now… then take this as your warning. However, if you’re as loyal to Boohoo or as obsessed with Zendaya as I am, then keep your online shopping fingers ready because the collection drops today!


Cialdini, R. (2014). Influence: Pearson New International Edition (pp. 107-259). Harlow: Pearson Education Limited.

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