Friday, December 3, 2010

Graphic New York City Ads Warn Against Drinking

New ads for the New York City’s subway this holiday season are the cause for controversy. The ads are from the NYC Health Department and focus on the hazards of binge drinking. Today the Wall Street Journal questions wether people are actually receptive to the negative messages with the ads. Adam Duhachek, an associate professor of marketing at the Indiana University Kelley School of Business, thinks that NYC might not have chosen the best strategy.
“The first is that people just shut down and don’t process the message at all,” says Duhachek. Show someone a nasty or unpleasant picture and they might say “I was having a perfectly nice day until I saw this, and now I’m not going to look at it.”

The I.U. researchers have also found that those ads tend to trigger a “defensive processing mechanism,” Duhachek says. When people are faced with a negative message about a behavior they engage in — like putting away several drinks in the course of an evening — they have to distance themselves from the chance of a bad outcome. (i.e. “You’d never find me slumped over in a subway station at 3am because I’m not that type of person.”)

People tend to think things will go much better for them than for the average person, Duhachek says. “We think our own personal greatness buffers us from all potential negative consequences.” Read full article.

Photos quoted from: NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene

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