Shock advertising

Shock advertising or Shockvertising is a type of advertising that “deliberately, rather than inadvertently, startles and offends its audience by violating norms for social values and personal ideals”.[1] It is the employment in advertising or public relations of “graphic imagery and blunt slogans to highlight”[2] a public policy issue, goods, or services. Shock advertising is designed principally to break through the advertising “clutter” to capture attention and create buzz, and also to attract an audience to a certain brand or bring awareness to a certain public service issue, health issue, or cause (e.g., urging drivers to use their seatbelts, promoting STD prevention, bringing awareness of racism and other injustices, or discouraging smoking among teens).[3]

This form of advertising is often controversial, disturbing, explicit and crass, and may entail bold and provocative political messages that challenge the public’s conventional understanding of the social order. This form of advertising may not only offend but can also frighten as well, using scare tactics and elements of fear to sell a product or deliver a public service message, making a “high impact.” In the advertising business, this combination of frightening, gory and/or offensive advertising material is known as “shockvertising” and is often considered to have been pioneered by Benetton, the Italian clothing retailers which created the line United Colors of Benetton, and its advertisements in the late 1980s (see Benetton below).[4]

. . . Shock advertising . . .

Shock advertisements can be shocking and offensive for a variety of reasons, and violation of social, religious, and political norms can occur in many different ways. They can include a disregard for tradition, law or practice (e.g., lewd or tasteless sexual references or obscenity), defiance of the social or moral code (e.g., vulgarity, brutality, nudity, feces, or profanity) or the display of images or words that are horrifying, terrifying, or repulsive (e.g., gruesome or revolting scenes, or violence).[5] Some advertisements may be considered shocking, controversial or offensive not because of the way that the advertisements communicate their messages but because the products themselves are “unmentionables” not to be openly presented or discussed in the public sphere.[6] Examples of these “unmentionables” may include cigarettes, feminine hygiene products, or contraceptives.[6] However, there are several products, services or messages that could be deemed shocking or offensive to the public. For example, advertisements for weight loss programs, sexual or gender related products, clinics that provide AIDS and STD testing, funeral services, groups that advocate for less gun control, casinos which naturally support and promote gambling could all be considered controversial and offensive advertising because of the products or messages that the advertisements are selling.[6] Shocking advertising content may also entail improper or indecent language, like French Connection‘s “fcuk” campaign.

Advertisers, psychiatrists, and social scientists have long debated the effectiveness of shock advertising. Some scientists argue that shocking ads of course evoke stronger feelings among the consumers. One finding suggests “shocking content in an advertisement significantly increases attention, benefits memory, and positively influences behavior.” [7] The same study also shows that consumers are more likely to remember shocking advertising content over advertising content that is not shocking.[5] Shock advertising could also refer to the usage of emotional appeals such as humor, sex or fear.[8] Humor has for a long time been the most frequently used communication tool within advertising, and according to branch active people it is considered to be the most effective.

The effects of shock advertising could also be explained by the theory of selective perception. Selective perception is the process by which individual selects, organizes and evaluates stimuli from the external environment to provide meaningful experiences for him- or herself. This means that people focus in certain features of their environment to the exclusion of others.[9] The consumer unconsciously chooses which information to notice and this kind of selection is dependent of different perceptual filters which are based on the consumer’s earlier experiences. One example of this kind of filter is perceptual defense.[10] Perceptual defense is the tendency for people to protect themselves against ideas, objects or situations that are threatening.[11] This means that if a consumer finds a certain kind of advertising content threatening or disturbing, this message will be filtered out. An example of this a heavy smoker who could be filtering out a picture of cancer sick lung since the content could be perceived as disturbing and uncomfortable.[10]

Target audience: direct-to-consumer advertisements are common in popular magazines, and particularly aimed at women.

You should also consider long term branding issues if using shock advertising as communication method. Using shocking pictures could affect the way consumers perceive your brand and quality of your product. The ethics is always important to have in mind, and using fear or other strong messages might not always be the best and most effective method to use.[12]

. . . Shock advertising . . .

This article is issued from web site Wikipedia. The original article may be a bit shortened or modified. Some links may have been modified. The text is licensed under “Creative Commons – Attribution – Sharealike” [1] and some of the text can also be licensed under the terms of the “GNU Free Documentation License” [2]. Additional terms may apply for the media files. By using this site, you agree to our Legal pages . Web links: [1] [2]

. . . Shock advertising . . .