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.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Harvey Nichols: Walk of Shame

Harvey Nichols’ advertisement plays on the embarrassment experienced during the “walk of shame” after casual sex. They are appealing to the audience in the fact that the woman at the end is experiencing a “stride of pride” suggesting if you buy a dress from them you will also feel more confident.

The women who don’t shop at Harvey Nichols are portrayed as more uncomfortable, overweight and also embarrassed of their late night antics. Embarrassing the target causes a reaction in the viewer to avoid the same poor social evaluation which results in increased likelihood of persuasion (Miller, 1996). For example, McDonald and McKelvie (1992) found people were less likely to help someone who dropped a condom in comparison to a mitten, as they wanted to avoid the embarrassing situation.

This advertisement also makes use of the physically-attractive-admirer altercast. The model representing the brand is attractive and aspirational causing a desire to identify with her and therefore the brand. Attractive people are more effective in a selling context (Baker & Churchill, 1977).


Baker, M. J., & Churchill, G. A. (1977). The impact of physically attractive models on advertising    evaluations. Journal of Marketing Research, 14, 538-555.
McDonald, J., & McKelvie. S . J. (1992). Playing it  safe: Helping rates for a dropped mitten and a box of condoms. Psychological Reports, 71, 113-114.
Miller, R. (1996). Embarrassment: Poise and peril in everyday life. New York: Guildford Press.

1 comment:

  1. Certainly a weird ad. Good work on the research.


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