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.

Friday, February 7, 2014

No Spray, No Lay

So what’s going on here? Well basically an average looking guy - who if equated to a football team would be a Stoke City - gets a large number of above-average females attracted to him after spraying a serious amount of Lynx spray.
A lot of pretty females
The ad uses physically attractive females to sell more cans of spray. Attractive people are much more persuasive in changing the opinions of others than less attractive people1; so who better to have convince men that Lynx works than a multitude of physically attractive females.
Adding to this the vast amount of women chasing the man aid in convincing potential male customers that they too will be chased and pursued once wearing Lynx. The use of social proof – we determine what is correct/desirable behaviour from what we think others believe is correct/desirable2 – serves to manipulate male consumers who begin to internalise the idea that ‘if hundreds of women see Lynx as attractive than surely they can’t be wrong’.

Lynx wearers aren't just boys who can shave; they are men
The classic rule of scarcity states that an object which may not be attractive on its own merit increases in attractiveness as it becomes less available; just like a fairly standard vacuum cleaner that shoppers go mad for on QVC TV. Here in the ad the Lynx-wearing man is conveyed as a rare breed in extreme demand. As men watch the ad they become convinced that they themselves have a duty share the ‘burden’ of being wanted with the lone male in the advert. And the only way that they can do this is through buying and spraying some Lynx and letting the rest take care of itself.

A Cycle of Attraction to the Unattractive
It is plausible that the original corporate profiteers behind the advert also aim to reach a female audience. For if girls as well as guys become convinced that the Lynx Spray is the real deal in terms of making men more masculine and attractive; than this may become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Women fall under the spell that they should be pursuing the Lynx wearing men, in spite of what the man looks like because all of their peers are doing it. Although no specific deodorant-focused research has been done it would be interesting to see if the men who do wear Lynx actually are perceived as being more attractive than those who don’t. This could be due to women feeling that they should be attracted to these kinds of men and therefore acting on this expectation. If this is the case than it is no surprise that Lynx remains a best-selling spray. Man buys Lynx, man gets women, man continues to buy Lynx and man continues to attract women towards him.

In summary then, for all the men asking ‘where dem girls at?’3; spray some Lynx and you’ll be knee deep.

1 Dion, K., Berscheid, E., & Walster, E. (1972). What is beautiful is good. Journal of personality and social psychology, 24(3), 285. 2 Lun, J., Sinclair, S., Whitchurch, E. R., & Glenn, C. (2007). (Why) do I think what you think? Epistemic social tuning and implicit prejudice. Journal of personality and social psychology, 93(6), 957.3

Alex Lee

1 comment:

  1. Great tone, id say that some of the principles introduced by pratkanis would further help you analyse the advert.


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