Behaviour Change

PROPAGANDA FOR CHANGE is a project created by the students of Behaviour Change (ps359) and Professor Thomas Hills 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, January 23, 2013

Nike Golf: No Cup Is Safe.




This is the most recent golf advertisement, produced by Nike, aiming to get golfers to use products designed by the Nike brand.

This advertisement has high source credibility as, among other tactics, it uses the ‘High Status-Admirer Altercast’ technique whereby an admired person is used to persuade others. The two people used within the ad are the two best players in the world and, probably, the two most well-known. By having the two best golfers in the world, the ad gives off the message that if you want to be the best, like them, then you should play this brand.

In an empirical study demonstrating the ‘High Status-Admirer Altercast’ technique, Lefkowitz (1955) dressed a model in one of two ways: 1) in a freshly pressed suit, shined shoes, white shirt and a tie to typify a high status person. 2) in well-worn scuffed shoes, patched trousers and an unpressed blue denim shirt to typify a low status person. When the model violated a 'wait' signal and crossed the street, experimenters recorded the number of pedestrians who crossed at the same time. Only those who crossed the mid-line of the road whilst 'wait' was still flashing counted towards analysis. Results showed that changing the status of the violator from low to high increased pedestrian violations from 4 per cent to 14 per cent.




Lefkowitz, M., Blake, R. R., & Mouton, J. S. (1995). Status factors in pedestrian violation of traffic signals. Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, 51, 704-706.

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