Level 6 Essay

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What techniques do charity campaigns use to convey their idea and persuade the viewer? Have they gone too far? Danielle Gough BA Visual Communication, Level 6

This essay will provide an in depth analysis into charity campaigns, their target audience and ways of communicating an idea, message and the methods used to persuade the viewer to donate or join the charity. In order to do this I will decode three images via semiotic analysis. Charity campaign techniques, symbols and signs , social and political issues used to persuade the viewer will be explored. The methods, history and theory of advertising, and advertising campaigns will also be taken into account. Advertising companies know their audience inside out, they know their weakness, strengths, what drives them to buy a product, and the psychology behind it. Scott, W states “ As it is the human mind that advertising is dealing with, it’s only scientific basis is psychology, which is simply a systematic study of those same minds the advertiser is seeking to influence.” (Scott, 1916,p 2) They know figures and their target audience and human behaviour inside out. Their campaigns and posters are an extension of this. Decoding them and the reasoning behind them, will be my basis of study. Charities are selling a certain type of agenda, idea, lifestyle or an objective or wrong that should be right within advertising, there campaigns are an extension of there brand identity and what they are about, how they say it, and their whole personality. As stated by Dyer, G “ Charity Advertising is usually non- profit making, but often usues the persuasive techniques of commercial advertising” also Nava A states about social cause advertising “within contempory Western societies identity has not only been linked to movements of self- affirmation, but has also become integrated into lifestyle decisiions made about the self”( Nava, 1997, pg 29) If you choose to donate, or give to a certain charity this says something about your views on the world society and what you as an individual believe in. Organisations have brand power, their brand is an extension of there beliefs. Danesi states “ Brands are one of the most important modes of communication in the modern media environment” ( Danesi, 2006, pg 3 ). Some may use the word propaganda when describing charity campaigns. Danesi states Propaganda is the craft of spreading and entrenching octrines, veiws, and beliefs, reflecting specific interests and ideoligies ( political, social, philosophical, etc) by attempting to persuade people through emotional appeals. ( Danesi, 2006, pg 10). EXPLAIN NOT RANDOM

My first image for analyis is Figure 1, P.E.T.A campaign promoting vegetarianism. The key element that firstly stood out to me was the women dipicted on the floor and the brave slogan “I am alica silverstone and I am a vegetarian”. Overall the campain ad is visually strong. The use of shock within advertisemnt is a key element advertisers use to promote an idea/ or put a message across in this case. Advertisers use shock tactics as they convey a message” more loudly and clearly than competetors” ( Nava 1997, p 71). The louder and more shocking the advertisement, the more likely the consumer is to remember the campaign and campaign advert. The best examples of the benefits of shock imagery within advertising are the Benneton advertisements. Their adverts have brought up contravery and use current affairs and issues of race, gender and class as a campaign to persuade the viewer to buy products. Therefore the more shocking the advertisemnent, or message or slogan the more likely the consumer remembers the campaign. These shock tactics seem to work. In an article about shock tactics saves animals by the guardian it states” In terms of exposure, however, his campaigns are undeniably effective. When he joined the organisation in his early 20s there were 60,000 members; now there are two million worldwide.” ( The Guardian, 28/05/09, p 1)...
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