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

probably the best beer in the world?

Kelly Brook, well-renowned model, actress and TV presenter was featured in a Carlsberg advertisement in 2010 to great success and fanfare.  

The advertisement started off with many rhetorical questions. What could be better than Kelly Brook lying on your favourite sofa? What could be better than Kelly Brook with a tray of cold Carlsberg? Indeed, what could be better? Not surprisingly, many men present sheepishly whisper their fantasies to their neighbours. Bunkrant and Howard (1984) found that rhetorical questions have many benefits when used in advertisments. Not only do they arouse uncertainty, they also encourage more intensive processing of the content of the message. 

Kelly Brook's grand celebrity appeal was no secret to the success of the advertisment. Pughazhendi, Thirunavukkarasu and Susendiran (2011) have shown that celebrities gain a lot of attention and heavily influence consumers’ attitudes towards purchasing products they endorse. In addition, Joseph (1982) also demonstrated that more attractive communicators are liked more and positively impact the products with which they are associated. This finding was supported by Chaiken (1979), who also showed that more attractive communicators were better in persuading others. Therefore, Kelly Brook would likely have encouraged and persuaded many men and women alike to buy more cartons of Carlsberg!

Of course, we all know that sex sells. Kelly Brooks was presented in a skimpy red hot jumpsuit in the advert. The advert cleverly panned the camera from her feet up and kept the audience guessing the identity of the person. The use of sexual appeals in advertising has shown positive effects on consumers’ attitudes towards the advert, the brand and purchase intentions (Severn and Belch, 1990). In short, people are more likely to respond to the advert by buying more Carlsberg.
To conclude, the Carlsberg advert was greatly successful due to the celebrity appeal, attractiveness and sex appeal of Kelly Brook.  We all like attractive people, especially celebrities, and hence are more easily persuaded by them. 

Jason Hong 


Burnkrant, R. E., & Howard, D. J. (1984). Effects of the use of introductory rhetorical questions versus statements on information processing. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 47,1218- 1230. 

Chaiken, S. (1979). Communicator physical attractiveness and persuasion. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 37, 1387-1397.

Joseph,W.B. (1982),"The Credibility of Physically Attractive  Communicators: A Review,"Journal of Advertising, 11(3), 15-24.

Pughazhendi, A., Thirunavukkarasu, R., & Susendiran, S. (2011) A Study on Celebrity Based Advertisements on the Purchase Attitude of Consumers towards Durable Products in Coimbatore city, Tamil Nadu, India. Far East Journal of Marketing and Management, 1, 16-27.

Severn, J., and Belch, G. E. (1990). The effects of sexual and non-sexual advertising appeals and information level on cognitive processing and communication effectiveness, Journal of Advertising, 19 (1), 14-22.

1 comment:

  1. Great advert and nicely analysed. I would also say that there was some element of similarity and social proof in addition to the tactics that you raise.


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