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

Totally Kissable Lipstick

This Avon advert features arguably one of the most beautiful women in the world wearing Avon's “Totally Kissable” lipstick, with a rather attractive man hoping it’s his lucky day. Within this advert, multiple persuasive techniques are used in an attempt to convince viewers to buy Avon's newly released lipstick. 

With a variety of close ups and lengthy stares in to the camera, it is difficult to ignore the fact that Irina Shayk’s beauty dominates this advertisement. Avon have chosen to use the concept of liking, specifically physical attractiveness. In research conducted by Chaiken (1979), it was found that attractive people are more persuasive in changing the opinions of an audience, regardless of whether the attractive individual was of the opposite or same sex. This physical attractiveness then promotes a halo effect, which governs the way a person is viewed by others (Cialdini, 2009). Therefore because of Irina’s beauty, we may be more inclined to see her positively in other respects, such as her good choice in lipstick. 

In addition, Irina Shayk's celebrity status may also play a role, as Kamins (1989) discovered, celebrity endorsement can enhance a viewer's attitude toward a particular brand. Avon have also implemented social proof in this advertisement, which is, as Lun (2007) stated, people determining what is correct based on what other people think is correct. Social proof is achieved by claiming 96% of women agree that this particular lipstick leads to lips feeling softer, and smoother. This statistic combined with a close up of Irina applying the lipstick, and I don't think anyone will be disputing those figures.

Furthermore, Avon's marketing strategy also makes use of yet another persuasive technique associated with "liking", in that products are bought from representatives of the company as opposed to stand alone stores. This approach is similar to that of other companies, such as Herbalife. These representatives are most likely to be someone we are familiar with, or perhaps even a friend. As we are more favourably disposed to the things and people we have more contact with (Cialdini, 2009), we are more inclined to buy products from our friends. Tie all these persuasive techniques together and it would be difficult to resist the temptation of buying one of these most likely incredibly overpriced lipsticks. 

In regards to Irina, I think we can safely say Cristiano Ronaldo won’t be getting bored of his beloved anytime soon. On the off chance he calls it quits; back off, he’s mine.   


Chaiken, S. (1979). Communicator physical attractiveness and persuasion. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 37(8), 1387.

Cialdini, R. B. (2009). Influence: Science and Practice. (5th ed). Boston: Pearson. 

Kamins, M. A. (1989). Celebrity and non-celebrity advertising in a two-sided context. Journal of Advertising Research, 29, 34-42. 

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.

Ravi Khera

1 comment:

  1. The deal is that if they break up, you can have him and il have her? Sound ok? Good blog, well done.


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