The advert starts with a driver experiencing group pressure by his friends, this is normative influence (Deutsch & Gerard, 1955). He feels he must conform to his friends desires for him to drink more, and therefore gain acceptance and avoid ridicule. This is a common phenomenon that the target audience of young men watching this advert can relate to. A study by Girard (2010) used 127 undergraduates who were asked to classify 24 products as male, female or neutral. They then used the neutral products to measure gender differences in the students response to social influence via the Social Influence Questionnaire. They found that male students were significantly more susceptible to normative influence when making a purchasing decision than females. This supports the effectiveness of using an example of normative social influence in the advert. The male target audience are more likely to experience normative influence than women therefore can identify with the situation.
Secondly the advert uses a ‘fear appeal’ to invoke fear by showing the negative consequences of engaging in the dangerous behaviour of drink driving. Research has found that fear appeals are effective and the most frequently used technique to get people to help themselves (Bagozzie & Moor, 1994). Snipes, LaTour and Bliss (1999) found evidence to suggest people remember and recall ads more frequently if they involve fear than upbeat ads, they assessed this through 305 consumer responses about their attitudes towards strong fear appeals. The calm start to the advert followed by the unexpected shock of the car accident, together with the fear the advert induces makes it an effective and memorable advert.
Bagozzi, R., & Moore, D. (1993). Public service advertisements: Emotions and empathy guide PSAs. Journal of Marketing, 58, 56-60.
Deutsch, M., & Gerard, H. (1955). A study of normative and informational social influences upon individual judgement. Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, 51, 629-636.
Girard, T. (2010). The role of demographics on the susceptibility to social influence: A pretest study. Journal of Marketing Development and Competiveness,5, 9-22.
Snipes, R., LaTour, M., & Bliss, S. (1999). A model of the effects of self-efficacy on the perceived ethicality and performance of fear appeals in advertising. Journal of Business Ethics, 19, 273-285.