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Anti Drug Advertising Directed Toward Teenagers Essay

927 words - 4 pages

Many children can quickly recall that eye shutting public service announcement that sends thrills through their body. The advertisers are looking at every single detail and for good reason, they have to get into the viewers head and make it relevant to them. Using techniques such as fear, specific characters for the target age group and a setting suitable for the commercial, ads can create a life changing experience. To truly examine the differences and similarities between ads and how they’ve changed over the years, the ads being presented are selected from different periods in time. Culture and style change constantly and marketers must follow this trend to impact their target audience with effective strategies.

The teenage mind trembles when thinking of a childhood fear or experience. The diving board ad displays a common childhood anxiety of jumping into a pool that lacks water to catch the diver, leaving the imagination to determine the fate of the helpless diver. This commercial was aired in the United States because this is a family oriented fear which can be discussed among a family and leaves a lasting impression. Simple but deadly scenarios were more thought upon back in the 1980’s compared to the present day, where murder and far more bizarre events occur on a regular basis. The more current commercial involving cocaine is extremely graphical and wasn’t aired in the United States, but rather in New Zealand. America is considered a family oriented country, and this commercial is not within the family oriented range of entertainment. This takes the approach of modern day fear to a whole new level by showing a man essentially wasting his brain on drugs. The actor removes brain matter from his head; the brain matter represents cocaine and he begins to prepare it as if it were normal. This task is grotesque and catches the viewer’s attention extremely fast, pulling them into the ad by filling them with suspense and curiosity. The objective of the commercial is to plant fear within the target audience so that the commercial gives them a negative connotation towards that product, which in this case is a drug.

The ads presented are both set in a place that the target audience would deem acceptable as cool. This gives the target audience a personal feeling, as if the ad were directed to them instead of the vast majority of people watching television. The diving board ad is set at a pool where nearly all children and teenagers have gone before. Not only is this a good place but it also presents a common fear of hitting the bottom of a pool on that first scary dive. While the actor is about to dive you can hear her...

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