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.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Reporters without borders

‘Reporters Without Borders’ is a non-profit organisation which campaigns for freedom of information; working with governments to fight the censorship that covers up injustice around the world and offering support and assistance to persecuted journalists and war correspondents.

A set of print adverts placed in magazines in 2001 cleverly uses technology and the interactive experiment template (as shown in the video above). The advert shows the faces of controversial world leaders including Gaddafi, Ahmadinejad and Putin and invites readers to scan in the bar code and place their smart phone over the mouth of these political figures. This triggers a video of a mouth speaking, however it is not the mouth and voice of the dictator as expected, but instead of a reporter who is lifting the veil on what is truly happening in these dictatorships. Using the activation version of the interaction experiment template (Goldenberg, Mazursky & Soloman, 1999) this advert allows people to actively and immediately get involved in the issue of freedom of speech and discovering the truth. By participating in the advert the reader literally helps important world stories be heard simply by listening themselves. Having already been involved in the issue, and in a small way part of the solution, may ignite a desire to help further – a desire the organisation is hoping for as the smart phone then redirects to the ‘Reporters Without Borders’ website.

The advert itself, sparks interest because of the technological element and is also visually appealing as the picture of a well-known political figure’s face, with someone else’s lips moving on it, is a bizarre image.

Goldenberg, J., Mazursky, D., & Salomon, S. (1999). The fundamental templates of quality ads. Marketing Science, 18, 333-351.

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