Commercials are meant to move product, not people.
Except for the Up With People commercial: the Indian shedding a single tear. It was wildly popular.
Did another one several years later about littering at a bus stop. There was a poster of the Indian by the litter left behind and the text said, “Back by popular neglect.” But, that sent a message that littering is common……normal…..and subconsciously, Ok. Didn’t really work.
Hospitals put up posters decrying the # of patients who don’t show up – then get frustrated that the rates go up. Groups run articles about the # of demographics that don’t vote, then are puzzled why less show up.
It shows negative social proof.
Authors did experiment at petrified wood national park. Old signs listed the # of people who took wood – indicating that it was ok. So they put up 2 signs: One said “many past visitors have removed wood from the forest, changing the state of the forest” and had pics of people taking wood.
The other had no social proof and just said that “taking wood is wrong, please don’t remove in order to preserve the natural state” with pic of 1 guy taking stuff w/ warning sign over.
The first one showed 3x as much theft.
Whenever possible, try to focus on the high number of people who take part in the positive behavior instead of the small # who don’t. As a manager, instead of focusing on the small number of people who miss a meeting recognize the number that do.
In a recycling campaign, they depicted a bunch of people recycling happily and 1 person who did not. Sent the message that (a) a lot of people recycle and few don’t and (b) it’s socially unacceptable to not. Also had info on how to do it and the benefits. Showed them loading bags on a truck full of people who already did. Kid asking “what about Mr. Jenkins” and Dad saying “Mr. Jenkins doesn’t recycle” – then a shot of Mr. Jenkins looking disheveled and messy. Showed a 25% increase vs 1% normally considered good.