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

You Can Shine!

Advertisements from Thailand have always been famous for the creativity and imagination. “Thai advertising is distinctive in its imageries and creative gags” (Punyapiroje, 2002). The strategies they use to appeal to viewers can be largely categorized into “highlight on humour” and “highlight on emotions”. This video advertisement for Pantene above illustrates the second category perfectly.

It starts like a normal TV commercial but finishes with “invisible Ninja cutting onions”.

The idea of this advertisement seems very simple. A poor and deaf girl, who has been bullied both physically and emotionally by a rich and talented classmate along her way of achieving her music dream, gained enough courage from a street artist to stay strong and finally made her dream come true. However the content means more than that. The extra attention paid on the details in the video has distillated everything.

“Why am I different from others?”

“Why… do you have to be like others?”

This brilliant commercial has picked an economic background that was average for the mean character to build the similarity to viewers, as Thailand is considered a developing country economically. What is more, rural communities in Thailand have very limited access to printed advertisements, but almost every family has a TV. That has made it more important for the advertising agents to be careful with the settings.

Physical attractiveness has also contributed to the success of this advertisement. The main character portraits a typical look for a kind, strong and understanding pretty girl and the story of this regular girl is designed to draw audience’s preference and sympathy (Cialdini, 2009). Perhaps the director has avoided using celebrities for the effect of authority figures on purpose, even though the audience are more likely to listen to authority figures while ignoring other factors, according to the results of Milgram’s (1963) experiment.

The music (Canon D) also contributes significantly to the advertisement as the whole story plot is flowing with the rhythm from the beginning to the end, with a smart association between soft breezes blowing across the reed field and the girl’s long smooth hair.

Lastly, the strategy of consistency might have also played a role. With the influence of movies and TV dramas, audience kind of have an idea about what’s going to happen in the end -- of course, the vulnerable one always gets to win in the end. Having that thought in mind, audience should be more confident if they were to make any purchase.


Cialdini, R. B. (2009). Influence The Psychology of Persuasion. HarperCollins e-books. UK: HarperCollins Publishers Ltd.

Milgram, S (1963). "Behavioral Study of Obedience". Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, 67 (4), 371–378.

Punyapiroje, C., Morrison, M., & Hoy, M. (2002). A Nation Under the Influence: The Creative Strategy Process for Advertising in Thailand. Journal of Current Issues & Research in Advertising, 24(2), 51.

By Hui Xie (Blog 1)

1 comment:

  1. Good, I'd say storytelling is an important technique used here also. Watch the writing in places.


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