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

The Lynx Effect; Chicks before Clicks

 Want to ‘up your game’? ‘The Lynx Effect’ transforms ordinary guys into irresistibly seductive sex-gods with minimal effort: all it takes is the release of one puff of glorious Lynx scent…

…Although perhaps quite intuitive, this ad has got it spot on, appealing to the young male target audience through their two greatest desires: confidence and sex!

 In this way, the technique of ‘message fit’ links the message’s content to the viewer’s existing beliefs and experiences- encouraging them to purchase Lynx. Snyder and DeBono (1989) found that adverts relating to viewers increase their appeal and persuasiveness- in their case, high self-monitors found ads emphasising one’s image and appearance to be more appealing and convincing than low self-monitors. Thus, here, the Lynx ad is connecting with the young male viewer’s desire to be sexually attractive, cool and confident, and thus will resonate more with them and increase product appeal. Equally, as the saying goes ‘sex sells!’- and the use of sexual suggestion of course serves to capture people’s attention (Blair et al, 2006) as well as increase cognitive activity directed at the ad (Wilson and Moore, 1979).

  Starting the advert with Ben Affleck also provides the viewer with a high status admirer altercast. Initially, the viewer aspires to be like Affleck, attracting beautiful women and brimming with confidence, as well as of course looking super cool in his shades. Much research shows us that people are more likely to look to high status individuals, or celebrities like Affleck, in order to influence their behaviour. Lefkowitz et al (1955) found people were more likely to jaywalk if observed a formally dressed person in a suit and tie doing so, as opposed to people in casual clothes, a result corroborated by Bickman (1971) in a scenario involving people returning lost dimes in phone booths only when requested by smartly- dressed people. Thus, the viewer initially looks to Affleck as a model for their own behaviour, in the hope to become just as attractive, confident and cool.

  However, the contrast between Elevator Guy and Affleck affects the way we regard the number of clicks, enhancing the difference between two things that are presented sequentially (Kenrick and Gutierrez, 1980). Initially, Affleck scoring 103 clicks, ie girls checking him out, looks impressive (how likely is that for normal people?! Unless you ask hundreds of Psychology students to add your facebook of course…!) but it then pales in comparison to elevator guy’s 2000+. Thus, the viewer is left thinking: “wow if Affleck (who I initially wanted to be like) gets 103, Lynx must make me even more awesome and sex-god-esque than that!”

Equally, this ad appeals to ordinary guys, assuring them that THEY TOO can be brimming with confidence and be attractive to gorgeous women, just by wearing the body spray. By having Elevator Guy as very ordinary the ad is using similarity altercast, relating to ordinary people and maintaining they can compete with good-looking celebrities even though they may not be particularly good-looking and lack celebrity status, all thanks to Lynx. Baron (1971) found that shared attitudes boosted request compliance, especially with regards to large requests, and Bersceid (1966) found that similarity effectively elevated persuasion through Festinger’s (1954) social comparison process- people look to others’ similar to them in order to form their opinions. In this case, the ordinary male viewers want to attract beautiful women so they look at what others in similar situations do and copy that- wear Lynx.

The widespread use of Lync demonstrates the impressive persuasiveness of their marketing strategy; just try to remember, chicks before clicks!
   Baron, R.A. (1971) Behavioural effects of interpersonal attraction: Compliance with requests from liked and disliked others. Psychonomic Science, 25, 325-326. 
   Berscheid, E. (1966) Opinion change and communicator-communicatee similarity and dissimiliarity. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 4, 670-680.
   Bickman, L. (1971). The effect of social status on the honesty of others. Journal of Social Psychology, 85, 87-92.
    Blair, J. D., Stephenson, J. D., Hill, K. L., & Green, J. S. (2006). Ethics in advertising: Sex sells, but should it. Journal of Legal, Ethical and Regulatory Issues9(2), 109-118
    DeBono, K. G., & Snyder, M. (1989). Understanding consumer decision making processes: The role of form and function in product evaluation. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 19, 416–424.
    Festinger, L. (1954). A theory of social comparison processes. Human Relations, 7, 11 A Meta-Analysis of Humor Effects in Advertising, 7-140.
    Kenrick, D. T., & Gutierrez, S. E. (1980). Contrast effects and judgments of physical attractiveness: When beauty becomes a social problem. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 38, 13 1-1 40.
   Lefkowitz, M., Blake, R. R., & Mouton, J. S. (1955). Status factors in pedestrian violation of traffic signals. The Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, 51(3), 704.
    Wilson, D. R., & Moore, N. K. (1979). The role of sexually-oriented Stimuli in advertising: Theory and literature review. Advances in consumer research6(1).

Katie Haseler-Young

1 comment:

  1. You're right, my clicks went increased after you all added me on Facebook ; )

    Good blog. Analysed and written well.


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