You have been asked to devise an advertisement campaign for a development programme to be launched nationally. What are the principles on which you will focus to increase the social influence of your advertisement? Discuss. (15 Marks)

Mentors Comments:

  • Lexicon ethics; Attitude
  • The question wants us to bring out the principles of social influence and persuasion and relate them practically to the situation at hand. You should give some examples of the type of audience, the message to be given etc and give practical solutions related to those principles.
  • Introduction– Write a few introductory lines about social influence. E.g Principles of Social Influence play on fundamental human instincts and can be exploited both intentionally and unintentionally by professional influence agents.
  • Discuss in points the principles which you would use to increase the social influence of your advertisement. E.g discuss the principles of LSCARS and relate to your opinion 
    • Liking
    • Scarcity
    • Consistency
    • Authority
    • Reciprocity
    • Social Proof

Social influence is a condition when a person’s thoughts and actions are consciously and unconsciously getting affected by other people and groups. There are many ways and forms in which people get influenced, viz. Advertising, Coercion, Criticism, Enabling, Ethics, Ethnic values, Interpersonal influences, Mass media, Power, Prejudice, Propaganda, Self-brand, Social approval, Social desirability, Social norms, Social values, Superstitions, Taboos etc.

Principles on which focus is needed to increase the social influence of the advertisement:

    • Robert Cialdini has earmarked the following cues of influence.
  • Reciprocity
    • Reciprocation is considered as a strong tool of persuasion which leads to a sense of obligation. The rule of reciprocity is highly effective and overpowering.
  • Commitment and Consistency
    • Both the values are considered highly important as they are a valuable short-cut through the complicated nature of modern existence. If a person makes any commitment, he or she will likely take up all steps to honour that.
    • Likewise, consistency is highly valued in society as it allows a person to make effective decisions and process information accordingly.
  • Social proof:
    • The behaviour of people surrounding us has a great effect on our thoughts and actions. The ‘power of the crowd’ is considered very important. This becomes utmost effective when there are uncertainties or similarities in a situation.
  • Liking
    • This is simple as people usually agree to people whom they like. There are two primary factors which contribute to overall liking. They are physical attractiveness and similarities of attitudes.
    • This is followed in many advertisements where public figures who are liked and respected by the people are roped in to influence people about the programmes.
  • Authority
    • People always listen to those who are either knowledgeable or trustworthy. The words of an expert are always taken seriously by everyone concerned as compared to a beginner.
  • Scarcity
    • Scarcity is often underestimated by people as a method of persuasion. Anything which is of limited availability is given more importance by people. People want more of you when they cannot have.

Understanding these shortcuts and employing them in an ethical manner can significantly increase the chances that someone will be socially influenced by the advertisement.

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Deepanshu Gulyani
9 months ago


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Deepanshu Gulyani
9 months ago
Reply to  Parth Verma

Hello Parth sir,
For every answer you have mentioned “try not to discuss the intro and conclusion in bullet points”. You want me to remove those circles which i use to make for every point or something else?

Ganesh DV
9 months ago

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