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.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Lamisil Advert

This advert by Lamisil uses disgust evoking imagery of a foot infection in order to persuade the audience to buy Lamasil. The presence of disgusting imagery in advertising has been successful in changing viewer’s attitudes, however the use of highly disgusting images in this advert is more likely to decrease the value of and memorability for this product. Lerner, Small and Loewenstein (2004) for instance have found that participants who had been experimentally induced to be emotionally disgusted placed lower value on products than those who were emotionally neutral. Whilst Leshner, Bolls and Wise (2011) found that high levels of disgust in advertising leads to reduced recall of the advert. In their study participants watched and then completed a recognition test on anti-tobacco adverts which were high or low in disgust-related images, and found that recognition of adverts decreased when highly disgusting images were present.

This advert is also trying to persuade viewers to buy their product by offering a solution (Lamisil foot treatment), for the disgusting foot infection. Research has shown that offering an effective solution for an aversive consequence is a successful persuasive technique. In this instance, however, the solution given may be seen as ineffective (can take up to 3 months to see results), and thus the audience is more likely find other ways of dealing with the infection. Furthermore, the disclosure of the numerous unpleasant side effects of Lamisil may discourage its purchase. This is because, even though these side effects are generally mild, viewers are likely to process them over the positive effects of their treatment as they are congruent with their disgust induced state.

In light of the discussed research I believe that this advert would be more effective if the level of and time exposed to disgusting images was reduced and a greater focus on the positive outcomes of the treatment were made. 

Leshner, G., Bolls, P., & Wise, K. (2011). Motivated processing of fear appeal and disgust images in televised anti-tobacco ads. Journal of Media Psychology: Theories, Methods, and Applications, 23(2), 77

Lerner, J. S., Small, D. A., & Loewenstein, G. (2004). Heart Strings and Purse Strings: Carryover Effects of Emotions on Economic Decisions. Psychological Science, 15(5), 337-341.

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