Is Shockvertising Effective? Why Not Happy Endings?

Scare Advertising
Over the last week we’ve had not just one, but two gut-wrenchingly powerful advertisements released that attempt to force viewers into thinking about the unpleasant but everyday problems of the world. First was the UK’s Save the Children ad, using the Second a Day technique to lead us through a year in a young Syrian girl’s shoes. What starts out looking like an uplifting video of a happy girl celebrating a birthday quickly deteriorates into a portrayal of life in a war-torn country, with the intent to inform viewers of the ongoing brutality in Syria over the last three years. Second, we saw the Women’s Day ad released Friday, focusing on the issue of domestic violence through a woman’s (Google Glass) eyes. Similarly, the video started pleasantly enough, yet quickly took a shocking turn. Both videos (which are below if you haven’t seen them) used shock advertising (shockvertising) to get their important message across, and judging by the popularity of these ads it appears that many people have taken notice. But I do have to wonder if all the shocking ads will only make us more immune to them in the future. (more…)