Chapter 9 Artifacts

Inoculation Theory & Drunk Driving

The Inoculation Theory was proposed by McGuire (1964) in response to a situation where the goal is to persuade someone not to be persuaded by another. The theory is a model for building resistance to persuasion attempts by exposing people to arguments against their beliefs and giving them counter arguments to refute attacks. The theory therefore offers mechanisms by which communication is used to help people defend their beliefs.

Research has shown that the focus on promoting methods by which students can resist peer pressure to start smoking has resulted in a substantial reduction of smoking among students. Inoculation theory has also been used to bring down the cases of drunken driving.

I think this advertisement by Fiat Brazil is a great example of Inoculation theory. It shows a bicyclist who disappears after the tab on a beer can is opened. The purpose of this ad is to persuade people not to drink and drive. The audience of this advertisement is anyone that drives and also drinks or may be in a situation where they are persuaded to drink and drive because it may be convenient for them but they should not because they could put other people in danger, as this advertisement is showing.


Repetition & Kit Kat Commercial

When I saw this commercial, I thought of the repetition in the breaking and crunch in the sound of chewing the Kit Kat over and over again. I think this Kit Kat commercial is a good example of message repetition.

The mere exposure theory suggests that we really do “acquire tastes,” that things “grow on us” (Sawyer 1981). This theory hypothesizes that familiar objects are more liked than less familiar ones, and that by merely being repetitively exposed, something initially will be looked upon more favorably. The repetition of the sound when the people break the Kit Kat off the bar and chew it then proceed to say, “mhm” persuades the audience to get this snack. I think the audience is people who may have office jobs and want a quick treat during the day that Kit Kat’s taste delicious and is a great snack to treat yourself throughout a busy work day.


 Commercial & Implicit Conclusions


I think this Geico commercial is a good example of an implicit conclusion because at the end, they say “who wants more value for that dollar.”

Because this commercial relies on customers to draw their own inferences, in this case the value of getting Geico insurance. It uses what persuasion scholars refer to as an implicit conclusions approach. If the ad had said, “switch to Geico insurance,” the ad would have used an explicit conclusion approach, in which case claims are directly stated by the person sending the message.

The audience for this advertisements is adults over the age of 22 and interested in saving money on insurance. I think this implicit message comes off in a funny way because of the way they are showing how much of a long way one dollar can go with the vending machine example. I think this message can be relevant to the receiver because most people want to save money. Therefore, implicit conclusions are more persuasive than explicit ones (Sawyer & Howard, 1991). Similarly, because people who are “high in the need for cognition” are more likely to “fill in the blanks,” they prefer implicit approaches to explicit ones (Martin, Lang, and Wong, 2003/2004).


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