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, March 20, 2018

Can My Child Borrow Your Lighter?

Please see link to video ad here:

CAMPAIGN - Smoking Kid - A personal message to the smokers
COUNTRY: Thailand
AGENCY: Ogilvy & Mather Thailand
CLIENT: Thai Health Promotion Foundation (THPF)

THPF: The Smoking Kid – A personal message to the smokers (Jay Chiat Strategic Excellence Awards, Gold, October 2013)

In 2014, the Thai Health Promotion Foundation won an APAC Effie Gold for their anti-smoking advertisement. While it failed to maintain long-term behaviour change, there was a 40% increase in one month in calls to the “1600 Quitline”, created to help smokers quit (Eagle & Low, 2017). Anti-smoking advertisements have ranged between shock advertising (appealing to fear by depicting in vivid images the health consequences of smoking - as is clearly evident on cigarette packages across Europe) (Kees, Burton, Andrews, & Kozup, 2010), to emotional appeals (using “pathos”, a persuasion technique to elicit emotion of guilt, social responsibility or to “hit home”). This advertisement shows young children walking around the streets asking smokers to lend them a light for their own cigarettes. Shocked by the sight of children smoking, all adult smokers refused to hand over their lighter before they proceeded to scold and lecture the children, adamantly reminding them about the consequences of smoking. Finally, before walking away, the children handed each smoker a piece of paper asking them: “You worry about me. But why not about yourself?”
Using children in the advertisement was an emotional appeal to get smokers thinking about the impact and influence that their behaviour may be having on the younger generations. Additionally, the message handed to them at the end was not a statistic regarding health implications, or a scolding message, but rather a rhetorical question motivating more rigorous processing of the message and putting individuals in a reflective position (Pratkanis, 2007) so as to elicit questions such as, “why do I not take as good care of myself as I do other people?” “Why do children with less education or less experience make better decisions about health than I do”. Inevitably, through hypocrisy reduction (Pratkanis, 2007)  this can spark the both feelings of guilt, and cognitive dissonance – where individuals are confused as to why their thoughts and attitudes are inconsistent to their behaviour (Festinger, 1962). "Why do I smoke when I know how harmful it is for me?" In that moment, almost every smoker put away their cigarette, and held on to the brochure. Further strengthened by the mellow, gloomy music in the background of the video when shown on broadcasted on television and the internet, this emotional appeal was powerful enough to, in the moment, get smokers to stop and think.

**All photos are screenshots from the youtube clip linked above. Credit for this work below title**

Eagle, L., Dahl, S., & Low, D. (2017). Ethical issues in social marketing. Social Marketing and Public Health: Theory and Practice, 187-193.

Festinger, L. (1962). A theory of cognitive dissonance (Vol. 2). Stanford university press.

Kees, J., Burton, S., Andrews, J. C., & Kozup, J. (2010). Understanding how graphic pictorial warnings work on cigarette packaging. Journal of Public Policy & Marketing29(2), 265-276.

Pratkanis, A. R. (2007). Social influence analysis: An index of tactics. In A. R. Pratkanis (Ed.), The science of social influence: Advances and future progress, (pp. 17-82). Hove, England: Psychology Press.

THPF: The Smoking Kid – A personal message to the smokers (Jay Chiat Strategic Excellence Awards, Gold, October 2013)

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