Posts Tagged 'attitudes vs behaviour'

get up and go

The clip below has been around for a while, but I’ve finally worked out why it impresses me so much.

It leaves no room for excuses.

You just can’t opt out.

“Just Do It” is the starting motivation, but this makes sure you keep going.

In so doing, it builds the brand and drives behaviour at the same time.



maybe it’s you

maybe it's you

Neil has just shared a wonderful list of things you need to ask yourself before you’re even allowed to think about saying “my client doesn’t get it.”

His third point really struck me [I’ve changed the wording a bit for context]:

The client refuses to ‘do’ your idea, because you / they have never tried it before, and it’s unproven.

But let’s face it: the problem isn’t that the client is risk averse.

It’s just that you haven’t persuaded them that the idea’s good enough.

Or worse, they think it is a good idea, but they don’t trust you enough to do it without screwing it up.

The list summarises many questions we should ask ourselves on a daily basis.

Go read the rest of it here.

reasoned response vs classical conditioning

thinking process

A conversation around a recent post on medium vs. message reminded me of another debate that arouses strong opinion: reasoned response vs classical conditioning.

It’s a fascinating question: do we absorb advertising messages and subsequently respond to them in a reasoned manner, or are our responses more subliminal?

This question has significant importance, because it relates to the broader issue of whether advertising’s purpose is simply to influence people’s attitudes, or whether we expect it to drive behaviour more directly.

Let’s examine the two sides of the argument.

Reasoned Response

reasoned response

The Theory of Reasoned Action (TRA) was originally proposed by behavioural psychologists Martin Fishbein and Icek Ajzen in 1975. They asserted that people’s behaviour results from a series of mental processes, and that our actions are cognitive responses to our inner desires, the context in which we become aware of those desires, and the associated societal norms.

In simple terms, the TRA proposes that people evaluate a variety of influences before deciding how to behave.

From this perspective, TRA incorporates elements of  Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. In his seminal study, A Theory of Human Needs, Maslow asserted that people’s behaviour is guided by a predetermined hierarchy of physical and emotional needs:

maslow's hierarchy of needs

Maslow suggested that people only attempt to satisfy higher-order needs once needs lower down the hierarchy have been met. I’d contend that a reasonable level of confidence that these lower order needs can or will be satisfied is sufficient for the person to focus on higher-order needs.

So, for example, in a situation where someone is literally dying of thirst, the ‘physiological‘ need is dominant – that person will drink whatever they can find. However, when it comes to having a relaxed, social drink in a bar, ‘love and belonging‘ and ‘self-esteem‘ needs take precedence, and the decision-making process changes.

If we extend this theory to brand communications, we can infer that advertising’s role is to stimulate reasoned behaviour by influencing people’s attitudes, beliefs, and perceptions.

Classical Conditioning

pavlov's dog

An alternative school of thought suggests that at least some of our behaviour is involuntary – a ‘knee-jerk’ reaction to external stimuli.

It builds on a ground-breaking piece of research by Ivan Pavolv. By repeatedly ringing a bell shortly before feeding his dogs, Pavolv noted that, after a while, he could induce them to salivate purely by ringing the bell; the dogs had been ‘conditioned’ to associate the ringing of the bell with the imminent arrival of food.

Some advertisers have taken Pavlov’s findings to mean that we can ‘train’ people to respond directly to advertising stimuli, and so ‘control’ their behaviour. While such a hypothesis may appear extreme, Pavolv’s findings do suggest that such ‘involuntary’ responses are plausible.

However, a more reasonable interpretation of Pavlov’s findings can be found in the principles underlying effective frequency.

What’s the consensus?

Psychologists still can’t agree which side has more validity, as this recent post from Matthew Taylor illustrates.

From an advertising perspective, my personal belief is that Reasoned Response is a more sustainable approach to establishing and nurturing relationships. However, I recognise that others put more faith in the Classical Conditioning model.

What do you think? Let me know by voting in the poll below:

a fine line

conscience vs cash

Advertisers may not be famous for their ethics, but they usually have principles that they refuse to compromise.

Where do you draw the line?





Political parties?

Anything you’d refuse to consume yourself?
(e.g. meat if you’re vegetarian)

Is it realistic to say that we’re being deceitful if we advertise any brand that we wouldn’t buy / consume ourselves?

I’d love to hear your opinions – let me know via the poll below (multiple selections allowed!), and / or share your thoughts in the comments section.

curing ‘viral’

This ‘viral’ parody from Mini effectively demonstrates the brand’s irreverent personality.

However, its mockery of ‘viral’ pleases me even more.

Because ‘viral’ and ‘word-of-mouth’ are not channels; they’re results.

Unless we do something subversive, we can’t force people to behave as we want.

We can’t force people to buy the products we advertise (unless we use hypnosis); we can only hope to persuade them.

Similarly, we can’t force people to share our communications (unless we harness computer viruses).

Instead, we need to focus on creating communications that are so relevant to our audiences (by being interesting or entertaining) that they will choose to share them.

So, don’t tell me we’re going to “do a viral”.

Rather, explain to me how we’re going to inspire people to share our communications.

Seen at adverblog

fast forward

Whether or not this recession has officially become a depression, it’s depressing.

And boring.

But apparently, we can make a difference by cheering up.

So let’s fast-forward to the good bit again.

Here’s another one of those feel-good moments to cheer you up and get you on your way:

And like Howies say,


Hope you have a good week!

Video seen at ibelieveinadv | Howies T seen at notcot

now now


[image from sprint’s now widget]

this is a fascinating piece of flash that delivers an engaging brand experience.

but will it change behaviour as well as attitudes?

or is it just a clever use of technology for its own sake?

from faris | more info here


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