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.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Pick Up Five Women, Lay Back, and Relax

For those of us who drive, we’ve all been there haven’t we? We imagine ourselves in an extravagant situation, whizzing around, looking super-fly, but in reality, we’ve got a budget. I would presume it is many a man’s goal to own a Lambo, or a Ferrari to show that they have truly made it in the world, and it would be an added bonus to have a chick in the passenger seat who is in no way gold-digging. But what could be better? Well, Daihatsu are giving you more. Five seats in fact, to accommodate all those beautiful women that you meet. Sexist? Or is it just a piece of marketing genius?

Previous analysis of this advertisement merely picked up on the effect of humour in this advertisement which is, of course, incredibly prominent. However, there is much more to it than that. Contrast is used quite deliberately within this ad, in order to turn this fairly mediocre mini-van into what has been stated as a “babe magnet” in the passage (see below the picture). By placing five beautiful, and fairly scantily-clad women within the van, it suddenly becomes more appealing, if not unrealistic (Cialdini, 2007). We aren’t looking at the teeny-tiny wheels or the fairly awful colour choice anymore, instead, we are looking at a very excited male and his entourage.

The most obvious use of contrast is of course the comparison between this mini-van and a Lamborghini. Interestingly, it works incredibly well, despite the fact that a Lamborghini would be considered much better and faster than what we are presented with. The use of humour and connotations towards sex, for example, “six seats, four of them reclining!” and “two sun roofs for when things get hot” make the Daihatsu seem better due to spaciousness that a Lamborghini doesn’t have. Not only that, but the ad goes on to contrast the prices, the mini-van being a “£167, 503 change”, using money as a weapon that everyone can relate to.

The use of social proof is brilliant here, in fact my favourite part of the ad. Look at average Joe here. He is so happy and genuinely chuffed with himself for buying this mini-van and of course finding these girls. It looks like he made the best decision of his life. Festinger (1954) said that when we look at people similar to ourselves we are more likely to relate with them and therefore buy the product. By using a normal young guy, not only will people relate, but they may feel that they will be able to afford this product and look cool as a result of purchase. Parks, Sanna & Berel (2001) said that we use the actions of others to decide behaviour for ourselves, particularly if there is a strong sense of similarity. Therefore, Daihatsu may have got this spot on.

The ‘halo effect’ is also used in this ad, albeit rather unsubtly. Primacy effect is the tendency to be influenced by what information we gather first and those who we deem physically attractive are considered in a more positive manner (Schneider, Gruman & Coutts, 2012). By using attractive women in this advertisement, Daihatsu create positive associations about the mini-van, as if it somehow ‘passes the test’ for these women to be seen in it.

So if you want to attract the babes (note: plural), go for the mini-van. After all, it’s better suited for physical needs when you manage to score!

Amber Kalejs


Parks, C. D., Sanna, L. J., & Berel, S. R. (2001). Actions of similar others as inducements to cooperate in social dilemmas. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin3, 345-354.

Festinger, L. (1954). A Theory of Social Comparison Processes. Human Relations, 7, 117-140.

Schneider, F., J. Gruman, L. Coutts. (2012). Applied Social Psychology: Understanding and Addressing Social and Practical Problems. Second edition. Sage: Los Angeles, CA.

Cialdini, R. B. (2007). Influence: The psychology of Persuasion. New York: HarperCollins

1 comment:

  1. Good tone. Id say that association is also important here.


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