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.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Would you actually do any of those things for a Nespresso?

The fact that George Clooney is the star of this advert demonstrates that celebrity endorsement is being used to increase the success of this advert.  Including celebrities to star in adverts is extremely common because it is well known that celebrities occupy a prestigious status in society and many people admire these actors and want to be similar to them (Pratkanis, 2007).  Furthermore, the transfer model is relevant here because George Clooney’s success and prestigious status will transfer onto the product Nespresso, which in turn will help Nespresso to gain its reputation of being a luxury item. 

Furthermore, George Clooney is considered an attractive celebrity and using attractive people in advertising is often recommended.  This is because it has been found that attractive communicators tend to be more effective in selling products (Kahle & Homer, 1985; Reingen & Kernan, 1993).  Using celebrities in advertisements is targeting the peripheral route to persuasion, as people are more likely to be impacted by contextual cues like celebrity endorsement when elaboration likelihood is low (Petty & Cacioppo, 1984). 

Moreover, the advert also uses humour to promote Nespresso and it has been found that including humour in advertisements is extremely common, and before 1989 it was found that more than 35% of UK prime-time television included humour (Weinberger & Spotts, 1989).  Using humour in advertising is used for a variety of reasons, one of which is that adverts involving humour had a higher recall rate than non-humorous advertisements (Cantor & Venus, 1980; Murphy, Cunningham & Wilcox, 1979).  Furthermore humour can also improve the amount of attention paid to an advertisement and increase product liking (Duncan & Nelson, 1985). 

Although the advertisement is fairly ridiculous and I highly doubt anyone would give away a pair of shoes or jump into an ocean in order to taste a Nespresso, it's a funny idea nonetheless and the presence of George Clooney definitely adds to the luxury of the brand.  


Cantor, J., & Venus, P. (1980). The effect of humor on recall of a radio advertisement. Journal of Broadcasting, 24, 13–22.

Duncan, C.P., Nelson, J.E., & Frontczak, N.T. (1983). The effect of humor on advertising comprehension. Advances in Consumer Research, 11, 432–437.

Kahle, L. R., & Homer, P. M. (1985). Physical attractiveness of the celebrity endorser: A social adaptation perspective. Journal of Consumer Research11, 954-961.

Markiewicz, D. (1974). Effects of humor on persuasion. Sociometry, 37, 407–422.

Murphy, J.H., Cunningham, I.C., & Wilcox, G.B. (1979) The impact of program environment on recall of humorous television commercials. Journal of Advertising Research, 18, 17–21.

Petty, R. E., & Cacioppo, J. T. (1984). The effects of involvement on responses to argument quantity and quality: Central and peripheral routes to persuasion. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology46, 69-81.

Pratkanis, A. R. (2007). The science of social influence: Advances and future progress. New York: Psychology Press.

Reingen, P. H., & Kernan, J. B. (1993). Social perception and interpersonal influence: Some consequences of the physical attractiveness stereotype in a personal selling setting. Journal of Consumer Psychology2, 25-38.

Weinberger, M. G., & Spotts, H. E. (1989). Humor in US versus UK TV commercials: A comparison. Journal of Advertising18, 39-44.

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