Media Coursework: Using The Barnardo's Adverts And Other Ones You Have Viewed, Analyse And Comment Upon The Extent Which You Find Them 'hard Hitting'

1909 words - 8 pages

Our case study is Barnardo's, which is a children's charity. Barnardo's runs campaigns and schemes to help the most vulnerable children and young adults transform their lives and fulfil their potential.In 2003, Barnardo's introduced a very hard-hitting campaign on children suffering from poverty. The reason for this, as stated in the press release to begin this campaign, is that despite having the fourth largest economy in the world, the UK still has 3.8 million children (1 in 3) living in poverty. The press release secondly goes on to give statistics of how oblivious people are to the large amount of child poverty in the UK. For example, '36% of people questioned was unaware that one third of children live in poverty in the UK.' However 58% of over 65's think there are no children living in poverty in their area, which is comparatively much higher. This may be because they are most likely to have been children themselves growing up around the difficult time of WWII. Therefore they might have a different definition of poverty. Barnardo's definition of poverty is families surviving on less than 242 pounds a week. Finally this press release concludes with a Q and A on the advertisements. However, the advertisements had to be withdrawn from the press and media by the ASA. This was because of resistance from the public claiming that the advertisements were too disturbing.Now look at the advertisements themselves. Take the advertisement containing the cockroach to begin with. This advertisement is arguably the most shocking of the lot, with the imagery very disturbing. The cockroach, which is in the centre of the advert to give it the main attention, is an unpleasant and unwelcome pest to anyone because of its association with squalid living conditions and is an effective symbol for poverty (and maybe evil.) In contrast, people associate babies with being helpless and innocent. To see such a creature crawling out of the baby's mouth is shocking to say the least. Moreover, the very fact that the creature is coming out of the baby's mouth suggest that the baby is already destined with a life of misery. The way both the baby clearly is showing his pain, and the cockroach standing tall over its mouth, have both been shown in a very effective way. The cockroach is also in very dark shading, suggesting a clever use of airbrush as well.Now look at the advertisement with the baby drinking the mentholated spirits. Mentholated spirits are the cheapest, the strongest and certainly the most fatal of all alcohols, and it is often only bought and drunk by alcoholics with no money left to buy the more expensive beer or wine. On the label of the mentholated spirit which the baby is drinking, firstly the reader can see quite clearly the harmful and flammable symbols, and secondly the reader can see the keep out of reach of children. Both of these points are highly ironic. The way the photo is overlooking the baby makes it look like the baby is drinking the mentholated...

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