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 27, 2018

Why we wanted to Compare the Market: The telling tale of Aleksandr Orlov. 

By creating loveable characters, Compare the Market took online insurance comparison sites by storm. People wanted to use their website over all others just so they could get their hands on the wonderful toys that are Aleksandr Orlov and his many fury pals.

Two examples of the ways these meerkat adverts and cuddly toys worked wonders are explained here:


People find goods and services more attractive to the extent that they are rare, or decreasing in availability. These limited edition toys were the craze, everyone wanted one because of how “limited” they were, a perfect example of the scarcity effect in action. So due to their release as “freebies” that would be sent to those purchasing insurance through the website, people were drawn in to use the website in order to get their hands on the rare toys.


People are more willing to act in a certain way if they see it as consistent with an existing or recent commitment. The advert was widely popular throughout the UK and kids everywhere wanted the little toy versions of the oddly loveable fury creatures. When the news was released that Compare the Market were going to be releasing these toys, parents everywhere will have begun promising them to their children, with the thought that they couldn’t possibly be too expensive as they were just simply small cuddly toys. Little did they know that Compare the Market were going to execute a fantastic marketing scheme to increase their custom hugely. When the toys were released they were only attainable when buying insurance through the website, however, they were completely free if this was done! Parents wanted to stay true to their word and provide their kids with the adorable toys that Compare the Market were producing. And after all, what’s the loss? They could use a price comparison site to get the best deal they could for their various types of insurance and get a “free” toy, keeping their children happy, in the process! Compare the Market made it an easy choice.

Cialdini, R. B. (2007). Influence: The psychology of persuasion. New York: Collins.   

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