Do The DIY Ronseal Ad – The Psychology Behind the Ad
A bit of Fun ahead of the Easter Weekend Break – Someone shared the new Ronseal ad with me and I couldn’t resist – such a great piece of content and so on-the-money right now – what with Cambridge Analytica and Facebook under the microscope for their use of data and psychology to target user. Who would expect such a master stroke of psychological manipulation from a humble fence paint.
So I thought it would be fun to a quick deconstruction of some of the consumer psychology tactics in play during the ad. So let’s take a look…
The first challenge for any ad is to gain attention. The long Easter Bank Holiday weekend is typically a busy one for DIY. Just check out the google trends data below showing how searches for Fence Paint peak each Easter
As shoppers thoughts switch to tasks for the weekend and jobs to be done, people are more likely to pay attention to relevant stimuli – such as ads providing helpful info like fence paint – so the ad is timed to perfection (I just hope the forecast rain isn’t a spoiler)
The ad cleverly stimulates emotional responses. A softly spoken, almost seductive voice invites the viewer to imagine and visualise pleasurable experiences such as a lie in and relaxing with box sets, evoking emotions that have been shown to play an important role – making the ad more memorable and prompting positive judgements about it (M Friestad et al, 1986)
It may be tongue in cheek… but the barely audible “Do the DIY” command at the start anchors that message in mind, for the video to come. The use of allitteration also adds emphasis to this phrase and further repetition at the end increases the association.
The novel sight of brightly coloured flowers blooming in ultra fast time gains our attention through providing novel insights, which are associated with the activating emotion of awe, which has been shown to encourage pro social activity such as sharing (Piff et al, 2015).
A Foodie Feast
The Ronseal ad also targets our basic needs (Maslow, 1943). The limbic system is our automated means of responding to stimuli – alerting us to potential risks as well as rewards such as food. The Ronseal Do The DIY ad spares no effort in this area – attacking our visual senses with a swirling chocolate-coloured background, complete with flying roast chickens, carrots and yorkshire puds!! After this assault, the limbic system is well and truly engaged – i can imagine the audience salivating even as I write. Then, the master stroke, swirling tins of Ronseal Fence Paint cascade towards the viewer. This association of food and Ronseal acts to embed the trigger – associating the food that many people will consume over Easter with the product, increasing the likelihood that as people sit down to dine, they may well be consumed with an urge to… open a tin of ronseal and paint their fence…
The ad is certainly different from many others that have been seen, with its swirling Vortex and flying chickens. This makes use of the Von Restorff Effect which sets out that things that are different from those around it tend to stand out – helping to gain attention amongst the other ads that will no doubt be targeting us over the bank Holiday weekend and hence increasing the ads influence.
Finally psychological factors that prompt sharing have been incorporated. Activating emotions such as humour have been shown to correlate with increased sharing behaviours – certainly the tongue in mouth nature of the ad made me smile – and caused me to share
Putting The Product at the Heart of the Story
By incorporating the product centre stage throughout the ad, there’s less danger of the product being forgotten in favour of the ad itself as research has shown (Bergman et al)
The results? Well it’s not yet been shown – so time will tell – but from a consumer psychology perspective, this ad ticks lots of boxes and it’s going to be really interesting to see what happens and how it performs.
Even though it’s so obviously tongue in cheek, it’s still targeting our minds – and in previous medical research, even people told they were receiving a placebo responded, even though they knew!!
Afterthought – Well it’s almost April 1st – could the Ronseal Ad really be an elaborate April 1st hoax with a twist?If it is, then it makes it even more likely to be shared… Happy Easter
What Psychological tricks can you spot in play during the ad? What else coud they have used and how could this be even more effective?
Help deconstruct the ad further by adding your comment below
Friestad, M., & Thorson, E. (1986). Emotion-eliciting advertising: Effects on long term memory and judgment. ACR North American Advances.
Maslow, A. H. (1943). A theory of human motivation. Psychological review, 50(4), 370.
Piff, P. K., Dietze, P., Feinberg, M., Stancato, D. M., & Keltner, D. (2015). Awe, the small self, and prosocial behavior. Journal of personality and social psychology, 108(6), 883.