Preaching to the Choir

When it comes to changing behaviour it is very easy to preach to the choir. Why? Because the converted are already behind the change, hence they are more likely to take the time to listen. And that is one of the issues with the campaigns surrounding entertainment piracy.


Who hasn’t turned on a DVD and been forced to sit through mandatory anti-piracy video? You know the one that I mean. The clip with the techno-rock music and a number of crimes being committed with slogans like ‘You wouldn’t steal a car.’ Ironically, the soundtrack to this video was actually pirated itself. But that is beside the point.

This piece of advertising is the textbook definition of preaching to the choir. The viewer has already invested hard-earned money and time into sourcing the DVD, visiting JB Hi-Fi and paying for the entertainment. Yet whenever they try to watch their DVD the screen is bombarded with advertising telling these viewers not to pirate their movies. Really? Everyone knows that the free (pirated) version of this entertainment is simply a Google search away, yet they have made the concerted effort to take the legal and more expensive option.

Incredibly miss-targeted advertising!

But surely the people who created this ad noticed the discrepancy. They probably did, but they were stuck with the inability to reach the piraters in any effective manner because the pirating sites probably don’t want to have this advert popping up on their page.

The Australian Intellectual Property Awareness Foundation has taken another approach to this behaviour change. Focussing on the positive, they are attempting to provide a psychological reward for consumers who do the right thing through this same channel with a 100% success rate at reaching the law-abiding citizens.

They have created a new advert with actors, writers, producers and even cinema employees saying ‘Thank you’. Focussing on a positive reinforcement of this message immediately makes customers more open to listening while also actually delivering a message that is meaningful to the audience it will reach. Creating this meaningful message is also much more likely to create advocates or ‘agents for change’. Check out the video below.

Often the focus for advertising is on the actual piece of entertainment itself. But when the channels miss the target audience, sometimes you need to take an alternative approach!