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, February 26, 2015

Smoking Kills

The advert above is an effort to persuade people to stop smoking. It uses the widely known slogan 'Smoking Kills' and illustrates this using the Dimensionality Alteration Template. There are four versions of this template: multiplication version; division version; new parameter connection version and time-leap version. The one used in this advert is the time-leap version. A time-leap ad shows the long-term implications of making a decision. The woman shown is celebrating her 42nd birthday when she clearly looks twice the age shown by the candles. She is lighting a cigarette with the candle flame suggesting that her commitment to smoking is responsible for her looking twice the age that is on her birthday cake.

The Dimensionality Alteration Template plays on the long term implications of doing something, whether it is not having life insurance, which was the example suggested by Goldberg, Mazursky and Solomon (1999), or continuing to smoke as is seen in the poster. The time-leap version of this template manipulates time to emphasise the consequences of using a certain product or not.

The ad in this post is an example of a time-leap ad. it depicts the future and compresses time (old lady and 42nd birthday party) to show the detrimental. The visual image highlights dramatically how smoking can hasten the ageing process and thus shorten the overall length of your life. This ties in with the slogan 'Smoking kills', as it stresses that although death isn't instantaneous it will occur a lot sooner if you continue to smoke.


Goldenberg, J., Mazursky, D., Solomon, S. (1999) The fundamental templates of quality ads. Marketing Science, 18, 333-51.

Kiranjeet Kaur

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