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.

Friday, February 1, 2013

People in Need

This is an advert for People in Need by the catholic organisation Cordaid based in the Netherlands. The advert is using exaggeration to induce guilt in viewers of the advert. Using guilt in persuasion is effective since inducing negative emotions can have a positive effect on consumers' attitude change and behaviour (Ghingold 1981). Burnett and Lunsford (1994) looked at different socio-economic groups and found there to be four different types of consumer guilt; health, moral, financial and financial responsibility.
It also makes the target audience think about their spending habits which encourages further thought about charitable donations rather than inducing shock temporarily like other adverts. Using a background of a desolate Kenyan environment adds credibility and realism as it allows the audience to see to what situation the money is going.  
It uses irony of how the fashion industry idealises skinniness. The pose is ironic as it embodies fashion industry and what’s ideal in industry but she is in fact malnourished. The fact that they make it seem so high end fashion is what adds to the contrast more.
Trying to make us relate and think as a handbag is an item we as everyday people buy without thinking. The focus is mainly on women but can others can still relate since fashion photography is one of the most common types of media the public are displayed to.
Uses comparison by displaying prices to compare, adds emphasis to how affective money can be. It uses text as well as visually to add extra emphasis. The text should be looked into since they have specifically chosen to use the words ‘handbag’ and ‘food’ to emphasise the comparison and the materialistic nature of the audience’s spending on other selfish items rather than the charity.


Burnett, M. S., & Lunsford, D. A. (1994). Conceptualizing guilt in the consumer decision-making process. Journal of Consumer Marketing11(3), 33-43.

Ghingold, M. (1981). Guilt arousing marketing communications: an unexplored variable. Advances in consumer research8(1).

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