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.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Sneaky critters…

This inventive advert for Frontline flea and tick spray has utilised the creativity template ‘dimensionality alteration’ by placing their large image on the floor inside a tall building (Goldenberg, 199). When viewed from above, the oblivious people below give the advert a completely new dimension. Those walking across the image at ground level are transformed into huge fleas that have infested the dog. The unsuspecting busy-bodies’ interaction with this advert creates extremely powerful imagery, evoking some rather unpleasant feelings in the viewer, especially if they are a pet owner! This creative dimension shift and people involvement emphasises the problem that this product is designed to solve and really brings to life the effects of not using this product.

The sight of real creatures ‘crawling’ over the dog is enough to make a viewer’s skin crawl; this could result in fear for their own safety or feelings of guilt that your own pet may be suffering. It has been demonstrated that taking advantage of people’s emotions is an effective form of persuasion and influence. The use of inducing fear in a target has proven successful in altering behaviour when the profiteer can provide a means of reducing it (Maddux & Rogers, 1983). Feelings of guilt have also been shown to be a powerful predictor of compliance. Research by Carlsmith and Gross (1969) found that student who were made to feel guilty about giving electric shocks to another participant were significantly more likely to comply, or be influenced by requests of others.


Carlsmith, J. M., & Gross, A. E. (1969). Some effects of guilt on compliance.Journal of personality and social psychology, 11(3), 232.
Maddux, J. E., & Rogers, R. W. (1983). Protection motivation and self-efficacy: A revised theory of fear appeals and attitude change. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 19(5), 469-479.

Ella Mould


  1. This could have been more thorough Daniela!

  2. Sorry, just noticed this is Ella's post!


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