Proposal for the dissertation

School of Performance and Cultural Industries DISSERTATION PROPOSAL Name : Anastasija Zakovrjasina Minor Dissertation Working Title: Key points of a successful visual stop-smoking advertising campaign in Russia.

School of Performance and Cultural Industries


Name : Anastasija Zakovrjasina

Minor Dissertation

Working Title:

Key points of a successful visual stop-smoking advertising campaign in Russia.

Aim of investigation

To investigate why some of the public advertising campaigns are powerful enough to change established human perceptions and behavioral models - what is the strategy of these campaigns; and what are the core points of its successful implementation?

Objectives of investigation

What is the definition of public advertising?

What is the key difference between public advertising and commercial advertising?

What are the aims of public advertising?

Who is the target consumer group?

On which main psychological aspects is this type of advertising based (cognitive, sense component, emotional component etc.)? Could social advertising be compared with subliminal advertising?

Why some campaigns gain success but some fail? (Analyze using wide range of public anti-tobacco advertising posters, trailers etc and their effect on population seen from focus groups).


“Non-commercial advertising is an advertising campaign sponsored by non-for-profit institutions or acting in their interests and aiming […] to attract attention to the affairs of society.” “Public (social) advertising sends a message that promotes some positive effect.” (Astakhova, 1999).

Social advertising is still relatively new and unexplored concept for Russia, although it has a rich history going back to the First World War. (Astakhova, 1999).

The purpose of this type of advertising is to change the attitude of the public to any kind of problem and to create new social values in the long term perspective.
In the Federal Law "On Advertising" in the Article №18 there is given a definition of social advertising as a representative of the public and state interests and aims for achievement of charitable purposes. (Federal Law on Advertising, 1995).

Public service announcements use the same set of tools that commercial advertising does: television commercials, print, posters, transport advertising, etc. The main difference between social and commercial advertising is the goal.

While commercial advertisers stimulate positive attitude to a particular product or increase its sales goal, social advertising aims to draw attention to the social phenomenon.
In addition, the target audience of two compared types of advertising is different: commercial advertising is directed to a narrow marketing group, the social - to the whole society or a substantial part of it.

To get a desired effect on public, social advertising should evoke strong emotions, whether it's a shock, fear, joy or anger, and the strength of its influence should be much more powerful than powder detergent’s or a new restaurant’s advertising. Accordingly, the question about the psychological aspects of social advertising arises. (Golub, 2010).

While popular copywriter and social marketing campaigns’ creator Sergeyev highlights behavioral factors that affect audience’s perception and reaction (Sergeyev, 2006), Russian docent Nikholayshvili points out cognitive and emotional aspects and their links with psychology of color, sound and manipulation theory forming a table for an extensive analysis of each single advertisement’s component (Nikholayshvili, 2008). Psychological research proved that perception and processing of advertising information are driven by many factors, but three of them are almost always present: a cognitive, emotional (affective) and behavioral (connotative) factors. (Stepanow, 2006).

Frightening statistics of Russian Health Ministry show that 75% of men and 21% of women regularly smoke and approximately 400,000 smokers die in Russia each year. The year 2010 started with a tough governmental decision that was approved by the Prime Minister as a national tobacco control concept and aimed to reduce the number of smokers from the current 40% to 25% of the population. (Website ‘VSE-Ravno’, 2009). Apart of the limitations on commercial tobacco advertising and promised rise of the price on tobacco products, the aggressive social stop-smoking advertising campaign begun. Anti-smoking campaign in Russia is a relatively new initiation, but it is already possible to analyze the results and making assumption on the most effective tools used to promote healthy lifestyle without tobacco. (Social Advertising- Creative Advertising, 2008).

I aim to establish the most important points of the efficient anti-tobacco advertising based on the analysis from the national survey, resources from mass-media and research of the focus groups.

Research strategy

Despite the fact I have done the Strategies for Research module’s written work on human perception of commercial advertising, the theme chosen for the Dissertation is completely new to me being a form of non-commercial advertising and being based on much more specific and delicate context.

Key sources: secondary research based on literature resources on the specific theme: Social Advertising; Psychological Aspects of Advertising; National perception’s differences. The majority of the literature resources used are dated 2006 and up, proving the novelty of Social Advertising phenomenon in Russia and providing the newest information at the same time. It is also necessary to address to particularly Russian literature in order to make the research outcomes more objective as Social Advertising is highly dependent on each single nation’s mentality, religion and set number of immutable social norms.

At the very beginning of the research I need to make a clear vision of the most widely used set of advertisement’s psychological components and their characteristics taken from well-known scientists labours in order to make a table of points for the primary analysis of the focus groups.

To proceed to the next stage the number of the most popular nationally distributed visual and video stop-smoking advertisements will be collected and the focus groups of 6 to 8 people from 2-3 the most smoking age groups (depending on recent National Survey results) formed. The set of specific questions that are relevant to this context will be then set and will help to identify semantic responses of the participants of each focus group to each single advertisement.

I have to highlight that the qualitative research is more appropriate in this study and will help to form direct contact with each respondent that is highly important in psychological analysis, while quantitive analysis is not relevant within this particular research because of the time and resource constraints that depend on the huge number of inhabitants in Russia that cannot be covered.

The results of the research based on the focus groups will help to identify if authors of the literature resources I used were right in their predictions of outcomes of each single anti-tobacco advertising components though their own analysis scheme.

In conclusion, I aim to denote the most viable points of the prosperous visual stop-smoking advertisements.


Final Proposal by the 20th of October.

Literature Resources fully analyzed by the 30th of October.

Visual material (posters, leaflets, stickers, videos) collected by the 30th of October.

Focus group questions set by the 4st of November.

Focus Group Analysis done by the 15th November.

1st draft of the Dissertation ready by the 25th November.


Bowe, L. etal. (1995) ModernAdvertising, Moscow: Dowgan.

Golub, O. (2010) Social Advertising, St.Petersburg: Piter.

Nikholashvili, G. (2008) Social Advertising, Moscow: Aspect- Press.

Sergeyev, S. (2006) Social Advertising: affecting by word, Samara: Bahra-M.

Stepanow, Y. (2006) The Art of word impact, Moscow: West-Consulting.

Trout, J. Et al. (2010) Repositioning, St.Petersburg: Piter.

Astakhova, T. (1999) ‘Good Ideas’ Advertising in America’, at (accessed 19 October 2010).

Federal Law on Advertising. (1995) ‘№ 108- FZ’, at 19 October 2010).

Social Advertising- Creative Advertising. (2008) ‘Brosaya kurit- brosay’, at (accessed 19 October 2010).

Website ‘VSE-Ravno’. (2009) ‘Smoking in Russia’, at (accessed 19 October 2010).