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.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Alibi Bourbon: ‘Seriously Hard Liquor’.

This was an advert created by Jay Grey for the liquor company Alibi Bourbon, and it easily became one of the worst advertisements in 2012. The photos used in the advertisement were women dressed indecently and had bad slogan tattoos on their backs. Alibi Bourbon uses images like this to create a ‘tough’ and ‘no nonsense’ image for the brand, to be more specific, they wanted to point out that the liquor is for somewhat down-at-heels people who had hard-lives, and that people who have worked very hard in a tough environment are ‘good enough’ to have this liquor. In a sense, they were saying that people who want to be regarded as tough and hard-working should purchase Alibi Bourbon. They also advertised on radio using three rough voices that talk about their hard lives growing up before revealing they are women, with the aim to sell the ‘tough’ and ‘no nonsense’ image.

However, it is one thing to sell the rough image of the brand and another thing to insult the customers! To me, when I first saw the image, I saw a complete disgrace to women. My desire to purchase this liquor was completely deterred by the advertisement and in no right mind would I buy the alcohol, not if I might turn into someone like the women in the advertisement!

Most advertisers believe that positive emotional message directly stimulates the customer toward the use of the brand while negative emotional message will give the same result but by an alternative route. Jay Grey probably thought that by using negative emotional images, customers would be persuaded to purchase the product. However, it was found that in negative emotional appeal advertisements, high level of negativity creates ignorance towards advertisement and thus it has negative effect on purchase decisions (Deliya et al, 2012). In the experiment, they showed 3 advertisements in which they differed in the level of negativity, the participants then filled out a questionnaire that included a lot of questions but only three were really related to the research, first, whether they liked the advert, second, whether they would use the item in the advert, lastly, whether they would buy the product. The results suggested that for the advert that conveyed the most negative message (Ponds- the Ad appeals the threat of perspiration can sometimes disgrace the individual) received the least likings.

Deliya, M., Parmar, M. B., & Karnavat, M. B. (2012). Negative Impact of Advertising on Women with Specific Focus on FMCG Products–Patan District. Global Journal of Management And Business Research, 12(16).

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