Classical conditioning was first explored and developed by Ivan Pavlov, wherein the repeated pairings of a neutral stimulus and an unconditioned stimulus would result to a conditioned response to the neutral stimulus which now becomes the conditioned stimulus. In simpler terms, Pavlov was able to demonstrate that continuously pairing a product or brand with positive emotions or behaviors, resulted to people becoming conditioned to the brand or product as producing positive emotions or behaviors.
Classical conditioning was the first learning program to be applied to a number of fields whose objective does to make people learn something new without actually needing to pay attention or analyze what they were learning.
Classical conditioning was the preferred method of marketing strategies for low-risk and low-involvement products and has been quite effective in building the association between safety and Mr. Muscle, or that of a Happy Meal at McDonald’s.
Concept in the movie:
In the movie, classical conditioning was depicted in the distinction made from the quality of life up at San Angeles and down at the rebels lair. The movie had shown a stark contrast between the kind of life people have up at the megalopolis San Angeles and down the sewers. The affluent and safe life was depicted with the shiny buildings, the morality statute and zero violence, whereas the dark and difficult life was depicted underground in the sewers with unhealthy food, with rags for clothes and unsanitary living conditions.
Evaluation of the concept in the movie:
Classical conditioning refers to the process in which something is learned because it has become strongly associated with a certain emotional or physiological response. The movie made use of the classical conditioning concept by making the viewers believe that life up at San Angeles was better than life under it because of the contrasting emotional response that it evoked from the actors in the movie.
The life at San Angeles was safe and boring, while under it, it was dangerous and exciting. In the concept of marketing, we could see that Dr. Cocteau was promoting the quality of life in San Angeles by making people believe that life there was safer, better and more productive than life under it to discourage people from going underground because he feels threatened by the dissenters.
The emotional response of the characters in the movie who were up in San Angeles towards the underground rebels indicate the makings of classical conditioning, wherein the mere thought or presence of a rebel could evoke fear or hostility towards the rebels who did not want the kind of life offered by Cocteau. When the rebels go up at San Angeles to look for food, the citizens feel that they are being terrorized while Spartan looks at it as a means of survival because he had not been conditioned to have negative emotions for the rebels like the normal citizens do.
Concept 2 Title: Brand Loyalty vs Brand Equity
Brand loyalty refers to the degree of attachment that a consumer has for a particular brand, while brand equity refers to the intangible value that a consumer attaches to a particular brand and how it evokes familiarity and positive emotions and perceptions. Brand equity is the general term while brand loyalty is a component of brand equity together with brand awareness, perceived quality and brand associations. The level of brand loyalty can predict the likelihood that a consumer will continue buying the brand, which can also be affected by brand awareness.
Brand awareness indicates how well informed and aware the consumer is about the brand and its related products, like how many kinds of detergents does Tide have. Perceived quality refers to how consumers assess the quality of the brand, or how congruent the quality of the product is to how it has been marketed, if it says it can make stains disappear, do consumers believe it or not.
Brand associations refer to the emotional and mental associations a consumer has about the product, if Tide is associated as the cleanest smelling detergent, then the mere exposure to the product would have us remember that clean smelling shirt at the wash. The stronger the brand loyalty is and awareness and association of the product and high perception of quality, the stronger the brand equity will be.
Concept in the movie:
Brand loyalty and brand equity was depicted in the movie with the reference of Taco Bell as the only surviving fast food after the different establishments battled it out in the franchise wars. Since San Angeles promoted safe and clean living without meat, fat, high cholesterol and the like, Taco Bell was the only fast food that survived because they offered the food that was prescribed by the leader of San Angeles and since Taco Bell was providing the same kind of food before the “big one” of 2010, then brand loyalty and equity had been strong as many people were aware of Taco Bell, and knew about its quality and that it is associated with healthy food and clean living.
Evaluation of the concept in the movie:
In the movie, Huxley explained that the only fast-food in the city was Taco Bell; this indicated that Taco Bell has strong brand equity. This would mean that Taco Bell has a monopoly of the fast food industry and that every franchise in the city is named Taco Bell. Surviving the franchise war gives us an idea of how the brand equity of Taco Bell gained an almost cult like status; the franchise war referred to how the fast-food industry tried to offer products that would be in keeping with the new quality of life with San Angeles, devoid of hamburgers and French fries and other sinfully unhealthy foods.
Since most fast-foods rely on the usual fare of grease and salty fries, the move to prefer healthier foods left the other fast-foods cold. It was probably Taco Bell who alone kept up with the changing food habits of the people of San Angeles which s why it has come to be associated with healthy and approved foods. Likewise, Taco Bell has been able to retain the fast-food brand as a memory of the kind of fast foods in the city 20 years ago. The awareness of the brand of fast food as Taco Bell show that people still were loyal to the brand and they already have formed a strong opinion of the kind of food offered in the stores.
Concept 3 Title: Cognitive dissonance theory vs Attribution theory
Leon Festinger said that cognitive dissonance arose from the inconsistency of an individual’s attitude to his/her behavior or actions. When a person thinks that he/she is kind but refuses to give alms to beggars, then that person experiences cognitive dissonance, the normal reaction to cognitive dissonance is to reduce the dissonance by changing one’s attitudes.
On the other hand, attribution theory refers to the process in which we infer and understand our own behavior or that of other people. Heider said that attributions are made based on personal factors or situational factors in order to explain the behavior of other people. The fundamental attribution error says that observers generally overestimate the influence of personal factors when explaining the behavior of others while we tend to overestimate situational factors when we analyze our own behavior.
Concept in the movie:
Cognitive dissonance and attribution theory was shown in the movie through the series of exchanges between Spartan and Huxley in their pursuit of Phoenix and also in the justification made by Dr. Cocteau in his attempt at eliminating the rebel leader. In a poignant scene, Spartan complains that chasing and hitting bad people are okay but if these people are only looking for food then it is not okay. Attribution theory was depicted when Dr. Cocteau was dismayed with how his plan turned sour when Phoenix failed to follow his orders and instead went on a killing rampage in San Angeles.
Evaluation of concept in the movie:
Spartan was a cop of the past and he had trouble adjusting to the quality of life in the new San Angeles, he was brought to life again in order to catch an old criminal which was no match for the new San Angeles police force. This situation already hinted of cognitive dissonance, the presence of a police department who were ill equipped to catch criminals, and the curtailing of freedom of expression in order to keep peace and order in the city.
The most memorable example of cognitive dissonance was when Spartan was chasing after a group of rebels who were looking for food, he thought that these people were really rebels but when he found out that they were only looking for food and was rebelling against the quality of life up in San Angeles than an arms rebellion.
The dissonance arose from Spartan’s belief that he is a good cop chasing after bad guys, when he realized that he was chasing people looking for food, he felt discomfort and tension which resulted to attitude change, and here we see that Spartan tried to understand the rebels and their principles thereby reducing the dissonance. Attribution theory was depicted in Dr. Cocteau’s explanation of why Phoenix did not go through the plan to kill the rebel leader immediately. He said that Phoenix was made that way that a criminal would always be a criminal; he failed to say that the lack of police force and the flimsy security measures all contributed to Phoenix’s ease at creating mayhem in the city.
Schiffman, L. G. & Kanuk, L. L. (2007). Consumer Behavior, 9th ed. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, Inc.