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, January 24, 2013


Perfume adverts seem to be a constant on any television channel, or page in a women’s magazine, with designers often competing to include the ‘best’ celebrity name promoting their product. In 2011, Dior took this one step further by including digitally integrated footage of famous Hollywood Icons such as Marilyn Monroe and Grace Kelly. 

The advert is specifically aimed at women, but interestingly there doesn’t seem to be a specific age range that it is designed for. J’adore Dior appeals to women of different ages as a result of its use of both present day celebrities (Charlize Theron) and iconic Hollywood Glamor celebrities (Marilyn Monroe).
A distinctive feature in this advert is the use of high status individuals as a persuasive technique.  This is an example of the High Status- Admirer Altercast, where people, here celebrities, hold a prestigious position because individuals admire and desire to be like them. Weick, Gilfillan and Kieth (1973) found that orchestras made fewer errors when they were performing pieces by high-status composers, compared to low-status composers.

Physical attractiveness, like high-status, can be an effective persuader, and is also a device used in this advert. Participants in a study by Kahle and Homer (1985) were shown a series of adverts containing attractive and unattractive celebrities (which had been rated in a preliminary study). This booklet of adverts contained 11 real adverts, and one bogus advert. Participants were asked to recall the products they had seen and how likely they were to buy them. For the bogus product it was found that the product was liked by participants more if it was endorsed by an attractive celebrity. This effect could be seen in the Dior advert with the use of attractive women encouraging the purchase of the product.
Controversially, Marilyn Monroe is traditionally associated with Chanel No5 yet here she is portrayed to ‘adore’ Dior. It would be interesting to see if this had any impact on the success of the product. 

Weick, K.E., Gilfillan, D.P., & Keith, T.A. (1973). The effect of composer credibility on orchestra   performance. Sociometry, 36, 435-465.

Kahle, L.R., & Homer, P.M. (1985). Physical Attractiveness of the Celebrity Endorser: A Social      Adaptation Perspective. Journal of Consumer Research, 11, 954-961.

1 comment:

  1. Nice description of the embodied research. I imagine the Monroe endorsement of Dior did have an impact--I think I will remember it for some time, as she is such an interesting looking person. It almost seems like Monroe's part was produced by Disney, it has this majestic aura. Thanks for the nice description of the research as well.


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