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.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Wear a seatbelt!

This advert is raising awareness of the importance of wearing a seatbelt. It shows an ordinary man, Richard, who is driving along minding his own business, but not wearing his seatbelt. Immediately the voiceover says “Richard didn’t want to die, but he couldn’t stop himself”. It goes on to show Richard’s car crashing into another car coming in the opposite direction, which the advert explains is not actually the reason for his death. We are told that the reason Richard died was because he was not wearing a seatbelt. The advert then goes on to detail the graphic consequences of not wearing your seatbelt when you get into a car crash.

This advert had made use of the “Consequences Template” outlines by Goldenberg, Mazursky and Solomon (1999). This template has two versions – the extreme consequences version whereby the consequences of an action shown in the message are taken to the extreme. However this advert has used the inverted consequences version, warning against the consequences of not following the recommendation in the advert.

This advert is an example of the inverted consequences template because it is warning viewers against the consequences of not following the recommendation to wear your seatbelt. Namely, that rather than being able to fix your car and get on with your life as you would have been able to if you had followed the advert’s advice, you will end up severely injured if not dead if you do not wear a seatbelt. 

Goldenberg, J., Mazursky, D., & Solomon, S. (1999). The fundamental template of quality ads. Marketing Science, 18(3), 333-351.

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