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

Cheat on your girlfriend, not your workout

Cheat on your girlfriend, not your workout.

This is an ad by Reebok aimed at increasing motivation to go to the gym. It was not part of a worldwide campaign but rather used in a gym in Germany affiliated with the Reebok brand. The controversial ad had to be removed following backlash from worldwide consumers. Reebok apologised but the ad has been branded as offensive.
One study comparing Chinese and German perceptions of offensive advertising found that Germans liked the offensive advertisements more than the Chinese. However, they were also less likely to find the ads convincing and informative (Chan, Li, Diehl, & Terlutter, 2007).
On a more serious note, research has found that sexist jokes can lead to increased inclinations to rape. Male participants were shown either sexist or non-sexist jokes, followed by an acquaintance rape or a stranger rape scenario. Acquaintance rape is when the victim is abused by someone she knows, whereas stranger rape is when it is a complete stranger. Participants were more likely to self-report rape inclination and blame the victim in the sexist joke-acquaintance rape scenario.  In this condition, participants were also least likely to see the rape as being serious and the recommended sentence was the lowest (Viki, Thomae, Cullen, & Fernandez, 2007).

Other ads that are purely sexist:


Chan, K., Li, L., Diehl, S., & Terlutter, R. (2007). Consumers' response to offensive advertising: a cross cultural study, International Marketing Review, 24, 606-628.

Viki, G.T., Thomae, M., Cullen, A., & Fernandez, H. (2007). The effect of sexist humor and type of rape on men’s self-reported rape proclivity and victim blame. Current Research in Social Psychology, 13, 122-132.

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