Communication requires two-person to share some sort of idea or information, which can come in various forms, while advertising follows the same mechanism but with a price. This is one of the most prominent factors that differentiate advertising communication from any personal communication. Prof. Harari, in his book ‘Sapiens’, mentioned the chronological development of three orders that changes the course of humanity, the first one being economy or money, then politics, and the last one being the religion. Advertisements provide evidence of all these factors in their message of discrimination under the veil of various appeals. This is fascinating how a simple product with a very common set of features and qualities can become a hot favorite with the help of massive and effective campaigning. Advertisements play a significant role in spreading and establishing the enter-subjective reality into the mind of the consumer and end up crating and nurturing the value of the product or service they are attached to. The aura that is being created through advertisements also helps in increasing the value and reputation of the brand itself. This makes the job of advertisers even more challenging, starting from the conceptualization to execution and measuring the performances.
One might think that advertising only means creating a piece of interesting design that will increase the demand for the said product or service however, it works beyond the designated areas and lingers within the subconscious of the consumers. Therefore, it requires research beyond the usual level to create a piece of advertising that would be rememberable. Interestingly, when we recall any brand in a particular category, this happens because of the advertisements that we might have come across at some point of time in our life. If it happens, then the job of that advertiser is half accomplished as the band manages to avoid the conflict and clutter while coming to the surface with their presence. The rest half would be considered completed when the consumer finally makes the purchase. Though the job of an advertiser does not end there as the path to a successful campaign requires understanding and acknowledging the demography, psychography, and behavioral perspective and changes of the consumer for years. At the same time understanding the dynamics of the market is also important before putting the ideas into action. Recently there is an advertisement with a tag line “share the meal” where it is appealing the smartphone users to donate a minimum of 50 cents to the hungry children with statistics of smartphone users outnumbers the hungry children by twenty to one. The expected changes that can be brought forward through the contribution of all smartphone users, if they all could donate 50 cents to the poor and hungry children. That will possibly let no children to bed with an empty stomach. The campaign was launched by the united nation’s “world food program” to eradicate hunger from the children as one out of seven children does not have enough food to lead a healthy and active life. The advertisement is a public service advertisement that is cleverly designed to send an appeal to the people who are using smartphones to use their app to donate a minimum amount to save a young hungry soul. While most public service advertisements (PSA) are created to raise awareness among the people on issues of public concern, one of the most struggling challenges some public service advertisements (PSA) could encounter is managing the donation received from the people, unlike other advertisements who can easily manipulate consumers by showing the benefits to them for the investment they are making into their products or services. For some PSAs, the advertisers need to make people understand to give away their wealth for the benefit of the society which is indeed a difficult task and requires a lot of effort and persuasion. That is the reason, many PSAs are adopting innovative ways of sending their message to the people to find a way to penetrate their consciousness.
Brilliance in the message creation and presentation can certainly pull the attention of the viewers towards the advertisement and send across the message successfully. There are numerous issues like fake news, female feticide killing, health and sanitization, safe drinking water, child marriage, and so on where the PSAs are created for the people to be aware of the circumstances, restrictions, and devastations to help in the prevention.
Campaigns that aim to make changes
Fake profile on Tinder
A campaign came out to protest against the fake profiles on Tinder in Ireland that forces many women in Ireland to get into prostitution. The campaign carries a series of women’s pictures that bear the signs of bruises and also show her in a compromised position indicating the constant struggles and abuses storming on her mind and body. The pictures are arranged from a gorgeous looking woman to a submissive and gloomy one with the message “your options are left or right” appealing to men not to contribute in the transformation. While many PSAs are focused on finding a soft spot in the cognitive areas of the views to create a lasting impact on them, this one puts forward a question of moral and social responsibility to seek out the answer for the viewers.
Stop child marriage
Child marriage has been a huge problem in India, especially in the rural ages but that has also been a problem in many other parts in the world where research shows that more than 39,000 underage girls are forced to accept marriage every day. A campaign came out in the veil of the wedding blog showing a 12 years old girl “Thea” is being prepared to get married and engaged in pre-weeding activities while the groom was chosen to be a 37 years old guy called “Geir”. The video shot the wedding day where people attended with open invitations and when “Thea” walked through the aisle to attain the ceremony, more than 3.5 million people used the hashtag “#stoppbryllupet” (“StopTheWedding”) to protest against this injustice. Later on, the stunt was reviled to be a PSA created by Plan International, a Norwegian non-profit organization, to protest against child marriage.
Helpline for Children
A wonderful campaign launched by the Spanish Children Foundation “Anar” emphasizes the brutality and abuses faced by many children. The outdoor backlit standee was designed to integrate two similar pictures where the differences can only be identified by two different angels. For an adult of an average height of 1.75 m, the standee shows an image of a child with a message “A veces el maltrato infantil solo es visible para el nino que lo sufre” (Sometimes, child abuse is only visible to the child suffering it) while for a child with an average height of 1.35m, the image changes to the same child baring clear signs of struggles and abuses with a message only meant for the children to see “Si alguien te hace dano llamanos y te ayudaremos” (if somebody hurts you, phone us we’ll help you). The ad was created by the “Anar Foundation” which runs a telephone line to help children and teenagers who face risky situations with the aim to warn the adults to refrain from such abuses towards the children as well as extend their help to the children who need help to get out such abusive living condition.
Sanitary napkins for the cost of cigarette
When it comes to health and hygiene, Indian women need a lot of awareness and care on the usage of sanitary napkins, especially in the rural territory where hygiene factors are given little importance. A famous PSA is featuring Bollywood actor “Akshay Kumar” in an advertisement on a sanitary napkin where the recent popularity of his film “Padman” was being integrated to raise the awareness of among the people. The PSA depicts a scenario where a worried husband is interacting with the actor while his wife is being attended by the doctors for a disease caused by the usage of unhygienic products during the menstruation cycle at a village hospital. The actor takes the opportunity to explain the usage of sanitary napkins for avoiding such health hazards while the cost of the product is almost equal to two cigarettes. The PSA is covering two aspects in one advertisement while the visible and prominent one is to promote the usage of sanitary napkins for the women to prevent contaminations, the subliminal one is also asking people to stop smoking. The PSA uses the fame of the Bollywood actor who has managed to create an image of a social reformer through his activities and also featured as the lead actor in the movie “Padman” which is based on the achievement of Arunachalam Muruganantham who managed to produce sanitary napkins at minimum cost to provide a healthy living to unfortunate women.
Advertisements are created to raise awareness among the target audience and this industry offers the people who are eager to find a creative outlet a perfect place to reach out to thousands and millions of people. One doesn’t need to be equipped with all different forms of creativity, rather they can choose their skills carefully which would be applicable in creative magnificent at the same time meaning fool paid communication.