Motivational Poster

hang in there by joey veltkamp

A motivational poster (or affirmation poster or inspirational poster) is a type of poster commonly designed for use in schools and offices. The intent of motivational posters is to make people achieve more, or to think differently about the things that they may be learning or doing. Motivational posters can have behavioral effects. For example, the University of Glasgow found in one study that their placement of a motivational poster that promotes stair use in front of an escalator and a parallel staircase, in an underground station, doubled the amount of stair use.

This kind of poster has been repeatedly parodied, and parody motivational posters have become an Internet meme. One famous motivational poster features a kitten hanging from a tree branch along with the phrase ‘Hang in There, Baby!’ This has been the target of various reproductions and parodies, such as an appearance on ‘The Simpsons’ episode ‘The Twisted World of Marge Simpson’ where Marge Simpson notices the copyright date (1968) and comments, ‘…determined or not, that cat must be long dead. That’s kind of a downer.’ Despair, Inc. has made a business out of such parody and cynical posters, with ‘demotivational posters’ ranging from a picture of a tree bent over by wind with the caption ‘ADVERSITY: That which does not kill me postpones the inevitable.’ to a picture of a sinking ship with the caption ‘MISTAKES: It could be that the purpose of your life is only to serve as a warning to others.’


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