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.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Love Your Body


This is a Body Shop advertisement inviting to join their membership club. The Body Shop is a widely known English company selling cosmetic products in more than 2,500 stores in 61 countries. Once a consumer owns one of their loyalty cards, they are entitled to discounts, freebies, and other membership privileges. The design of The Body Shop membership programme is one of the most clever ones for a couple of reasons.

Firstly, you get a free gift if you become a member.  It has been found that we feel the urge to return favours because of reciprocity (Packard, 1957; Cialdini, 2001). In fact, this happens not only when we want a free gift but also when it is not actually wanted (Regan, 1971). Hence, one may purchase the membership because they were simply offered the gift.

Secondly, the Body Shop uses a ‘Love your body’ slogan and positive words, such as ‘reward’, emphasised ‘free’, ‘exclusive privileges’, etc.  Naylor et al. (2006) found that the word ‘SALE’ increased sales because the word was associated with lower prices. Also, those who are insecure about their bodies or are keen on looking after their bodies will probably identify with the membership slogan. This is due to similarity (Festinger, 1954), social proof (Lun et al., 2007), and association (Lott & Lott, 1965). One may become a member because they will assume that the membership is for those similar to them (passionate about their looks and cosmetics) while cosmetic products are associated to benefits for the body.

Finally, you have to pay £5 in order to get the Loyalty card. That is, you make a commitment. Moreover, people stick to commitments because they like to be consistent (Allgeier et al, 1979). Thus by paying the membership fee, the consumers are more likely to return to the store and buy something from them in order to see their decision to purchase the Loyalty card as right (Fazio, Blascovich & Driscoll, 1992).

To sum up, people are compelled to buy the Loyalty cards because they may identify with the Body Shop slogan as well as they are attracted to the offered rewards, discounts and other privileges. By becoming a member of The Body Shop the buyer commits to purchasing their products because they have paid for the membership. They also want to be consistent consumers so they keep on buying various items to justify the decision to pay the membership fee.


  • Allgeier, A. R., Byrne, D., Brooks, B., & Revnes, D. (1979). The waffle phenomenon: Negative evaluations of those who shift attitudinally. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 9, 170-182.
  • Cialdini, R.B. (2001). Influence. Boston: Allyn & Bacon.
  • Fazio, R. H., Blascovich, J., & Driscoll, D. M. (1992). On the functional value of attitudes: the influence of accessible attitudes on the ease and quality of decision making. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 18, 388-401.
  • Festinger, L. (1954). A theory of social comparison processes. Human Relations, 7, 117-140.
  • Lott, A. J., & Lott, B. E. (1965). Group cohesiveness as interpersonal attraction: A review of relationships with antecedent and variables. Psychological Bulletin, 64, 259-309.
  • Lun, J., Sinclair, S., Whitchurch, E. R., & Glenn, C. (2007). (Why) do I think what you think? Epistemic social tuning and implicit prejudice. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 93, 957-972.
  • Naylor, R.W., Raghunathan, R., & Ramanathan, S. (2006). Promotions Spontaneously Induce a Positive Evaluative Response. Journal of Consumer Psychology, 16, 295–305.
  • Packard, V. O. (1957). The Hidden Persuaders. New York: D. McKay Company. 
  • Regan (1971). Effects of a favour and liking on compliance. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 7, 627-639.

Justina Pakulnyte

1 comment:

  1. I feel that the second paragraph could have been explored in slightly more detail. Going forward id say to be more careful with your writing as your analysis is good.


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