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.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Gay Vegas


These are adverts aimed at encouraging gay people to go to Las Vegas. Essentially the advertisers are trying to fight the conception that Las Vegas is a particularly straight-dominated environment and do this by identifying gay people as the in-group and having straight people as the out-group. Escalas & Bettman suggest that people associate with brands based in part on constructing their own self-concept, and so have shown that consumers report stronger self-brand connections with brands that have images consistent with an in-group. To show this, they asked individuals in a university setting to identify which group on campus they strongly identify with, and to identify a group that they do not belong to and strongly do not identify with. Participants were then asked to identify brands that were consistent with each of these groups, and brands that were not. They were then given a measure to identify their self-brand connections with the brands that were representative of each group. Participants showed stronger self-brand connections with brands that had consistent images with the groups they more strongly belonged to. In these print adverts the advertisers are trying to construct Las Vegas as consistent with the values of the in-group of gay people, by identifying straight people as an out-group and by using strong imagery consistent with a gay in-group.


Escalas, J.E., & James R. Bettman (2005). Self‐Construal, Reference Groups, and Brand Meaning. Journal of Consumer Research, 32 (3), 378-389.

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