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.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Look, Look, then Look again

No one wants to be the cause of a serious car incident. By evoking our fears of causing a collision, this advert persuades drivers to look more closely for motorcyclists when pulling out of a junction. The advert uses the ‘inverted consequences' template descried by Goldenberg, Mazursky and Solomon (1999). This template is used to show the devastating and potentially fatal consequence of not looking for motorcycles while driving. It was found that a high proportion of prize winning adverts use the inverted consequences template which shows that this template is effective at gaining compliance (Goldenber, Mazursky and Solomon, 1999).

This advert evokes many emotions which can be used to persuade the viewer to adhere to the 'Look, Look then Look again' message. The shock factor of seeing the motorcyclist crash into the car at high speed without any warning creates the emotions of fear, surprise and dread in the viewer. Pratkanis (2007) states that inducing fear in the viewer can increase compliance to a message if the advert shows the viewer how to avoid the feared situation. This advert clearly shows that the motorcycle collision could have been avoided if the driver had only looked multiple times before pulling out of the junction. In order to reduce one’s feelings of fear, shock and dread we accept the 'Look, Look then Look again' message. Agreeing to take more care looking for motorcyclists is a way of escaping the adverse emotions the advert creates in the viewer.

This advert also utilises the interactive experiment template detailed by Goldenberg, Mazursky and Solomon (1999). The advert shows a man driving a car towards a junction, stopping to quickly look right and then pulling out of the junction. As the car pulls out of the junction a motorcyclist crashes into the car at with full force. The viewer watchers this part of the advert as if they were sat in the front passenger seat of the car. This camera perspective makes the viewer feel they are witnessing the collision first hand from inside the car. The interactive nature of this adverts increases the amount of involvement the viewer has in the advert which increases the amount of cognitive effort used to process the advert. Goldenberg, Mazursky and Solomon (1999) state that this type of template is particularly effective in increasing a behavioural change, therefore, this advert could be very effective at getting the viewer to adhere to the look, look then look again message.

This advert is highly affective as it uses a variety of persuasive techniques to convince drivers to pay more attention to motorcyclists. Clearly showing the viewer the devastating consequences of not looking properly for a motorcyclist increases the likelihood that they will follow to the look, look, then look again message. Creating adverse emotions in the viewer increases compliance to the message as viewers seek to reduce these adverse emotions through agreeing to pay more attention while driving. Finally, making the viewer feel as if they are in the car when the motorcyclist hits increases compliance through increased involvement.

Anna Caswell 


Goldenberg, J., Mazursky, D., & Solomon, S. (1999). The fundamental templates of quality ads. Marketing Science, 18, 333-351.

The science of social influence: Advances and future progress (2007). Psychology Press, New York, NY. 

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