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This report will provide a critical review of one aspect of effective advertising that is growing exponentially; shock advertising. This form of commercial is unique in that it uses some unusual element, whether humorous or offensive or interesting, to capture the attention of the potential customers…
Finally, I will provide a case study from the Barnardo's children's rights charity which recently stirred significant controversy because of its use of disturbing images of children to highlight the issue of poverty in the UK.
As a result of the research and analysis involved with this project, I can directly state that shock advertising is effective because it gets noticed. Barnardo's use of graphic images of a newborn infant with a cockroach coming out of its mouth, though dramatically controversial and visually repugnant, is nevertheless an effective tool for provoking a response to the pressing issue of poverty. The people who see this ad will not forget it.
As discussed in the literature review section of this report, there is some contention about the social responsibility and methodology of organizations that engage in shock advertising. Those ethical concerns notwithstanding, the reason that many advertisers are using the technique is because it can be extremely effective if done properly. There are a significant number of concepts, angles and strategies related to the presentation of this form of advertising, four of which will be considered here.
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