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, January 23, 2014

Getting laid has never been so easy...

Getting laid has never been so easy…

In what world does a man deodorising cause thousands of half-naked beach babes to act as predators running across the jungle, and swimming across the ocean, all for a piece of what most of us would consider to be an Average Joe? A world most young men would like to live in I would imagine, the Lynx world.
The Lynx effect has taken the notion of ‘sex sells’ to unprecedented levels.  According to this advertising technique, purchasing a can of Lynx is a virtual guarantee of being swarmed by women who aesthetically rival Megan Fox (if such women exist), with or without your beer goggles. This concept utilises a persuasive strategy described by Pratkanis (2007) as association; transferring the meaning of one positive concept to another, in this instance, the positive qualities attached to a swarm of beautiful women (attractiveness) are associated with the spraying of Lynx. 

Attraction is a key tenet in advertising, according to Cialdini (2010), attractive people are simply more persuasive and whilst the main actor in this advertisement is no Brad Pitt, the thousands of women are definitely Angelina Jolies. Interestingly, the fact that the main actor in this advertisement is no Brad Pitt increases the effectiveness of this strategy. In the words of Cialdini (2010) “we like people who are similar to us”, albeit aesthetically or in terms of interests, and for most heterosexual men, women account for a large amount of a man’s interest, alongside Fifa, Call of Duty and steak. This advertisement uses an average looking man who is physically similar to its target audience; young males, creating a Similarity Altercast, which enables the young males to relate to the actor in the advert, and think “if he can spray Lynx and attract thousands of women, so can I” and research suggests that similarity between the source and target increases compliance (Berscheid, 1966).  

The truth is, most men are aware that no matter how much Lynx they spray, they are unlikely to ever be in the situation portrayed in the advertisement, however, if a £2.50 can of deodorant increases the likelihood of a man receiving female attention, well hey, that is a lot cheaper than buying them a drink London - so well done Lynx, keep it up!

Krishma Tangri

Berscheid, E. (1966). Opinion change and communicator-communicatee similarity and dissimilarity. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 4(6), 670.

Pratkanis, A. R. (2007). Social influence analysis: An index of tactics. The science of social influence: Advances and future progress, 17-82.

Cialdini, R. B. (2007). Influence: The psychology of Persuasion. New York: HarperCollins.

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