Three Little Pigs is an allegorical advertisement, promoting The Guardian’s commitment to Open Journalism. This simplistic and familiar fairy tale provides a narrative for their campaign. In particular, the use of an allegory helps promote complex ideas about digital journalism and social media responses in a symbolic, structured way.
By controlling and guiding the viewers thought, the argument is seen as credible. In a similar way, Slusher and Anderson (1996) observed that story telling was more effective than providing raw arguments about the contraction of the AIDs virus. Within the context of The Three Pigs, raw arguments are easy to discredit: organisations, not social media, influence journalism; newspapers promote a socio-political agenda, rather than the Truth; all opinions are not equal. Yet when incorporated within a familiar narrative, it is more difficult to discredit. Anderson, Lepper and Ross (1980) provided participants with pro- or anti-death penalty story, followed by homicidal rates in states where the death penalty was active or outlawed. Opinions formed from the narrative persisted despite discrediting data.
Anderson, C. A., Lepper, M. R., & Ross, L. (1980). Perseverance of social theories: The role of explanation in the persistence of discredited information.Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 39, 1037.Slusher, M. P., & Anderson, C. A. (1996). Using causal persuasive arguments to change beliefs and teach new information: The mediating role of explanation availability and evaluation bias in the acceptance of knowledge. Journal of Educational Psychology, 88, 110.