|techniques, part II|
Appealing to viewers' guilt is a technique commonly used by advertisers promoting ideas or soliciting donations for a social cause. After succesfully making a viewer feel guilty, these ads almost always provide them with a way of getting rid of the guilt, whether it be by removing firearms from their homes, talking to their kids about drugs or foregoing their daily cup of coffee and donating the money to a children's aid fund.
Check out the Cease Fire deconstruction for a good example of such an ad.
Public service announcements are particularly effective at this. Many take advantage of gory visuals in order to scare us into not smoking, not drinking and not doing drugs.
Political advertisments also use this technique. A 1964 spot for candidate Lyndon Johnson showed clips young girl plucking the petals from a daisy interspersed with clips of a mushroom cloud. Although it aired only once, the ad successfully played on people's fears of nuclear war and helped get Johnson elected.
A critically acclaimed commercial for DuPont did just that. The ad featured Bill Demby, a Vietnam veteran who lost both legs in the war and now has prosthetic legs made with DuPont plastic. The ad shows Bill walking up to an inner city basketball court and shooting hoops with guys who at first seem a little hesitant. Bill makes a basket and the DuPont slogan appears: "Better things for better living."
Coca-Cola claimed to unite the world in a 1971 advertisement that featured young people from 30 countries standing on a hilltop singing "I'd like to buy the world a Coke" in their respective languages. In 1990, Coca-Cola did a followup to the hilltop ad, this time featuring the original singers and their families. Both Coke ads make viewers feel that despite our differences, we can all get along thanks to Coca-Cola.
us vs. them