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PR and Persuasion: PETA masters Elaboration Likelihood Model June 27, 2010

Posted by rmshepard in Uncategorized.
Tags: , , , , ,

The Elaboration Likelihood Model is perhaps the simplest way of understanding the psychological dimensions of persuasion in PR and advertising. In short, when people are motivated and are able to focus they use a logical way of thinking known as the central route to decision making. When they lack motivation and will be moved by basic characteristics like a sales person’s physical appearance or reputation, then they use what is called the peripheral route to decision making.

Perhaps no other organization best illustrates a balance of methods targeting both routes than PETA. Try going to PETA’s website for its popular “Go Veg” campaign and identify which subjects they discuss that are targeted either at the peripheral or central routes of decision making.

For more on ELM, see the first video below. Then, watch the two ads by PETA below to determine how they pivot between the central and peripheral routes.

Discussion Questions:

1.  How does the first “Go Veg” commercial above target the central and peripheral routes of decision making?

2.  How does the second “Go Veg” commercial above target the central and peripheral routes of decision making?

3.  Is targeting the central route more ethical than targeting the peripheral route? Why, or why not?



1. Bettina B. - November 26, 2012

I think this is a very interesting topic and I would like to watch the second “Go Veg” ad to see the two different ways of persuasion – unfortunately it has been removed.

Is there any other possibility to watch it?

rmshepard - November 26, 2012

No problem, Bettina. I’ve updated the link. I’m not sure it’s the same exact video, but it’s of the same type. You’ll definitely noticed the difference between the two!

Bettina B. - November 26, 2012

thank you so much! I really like the example – the ads show quite convincing the different routes!

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