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The New Way of Raising Consciousness Regarding Environment's Destruction

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The New Way of Raising Consciousness Regarding Environment's Destruction

Advantages and Disadvantages of Radical Advertisement to Provoke Consumers' Action

In order to reach a broader audience and to strengthen the consumers' consciousness regarding environment's destruction, environmental organisations use more and more provocative forms of advertisement. A present example is the Greenpeace campaign which points at the destruction of the rainforest by shocking images of, for instance, a man eating a finger of a orang-utan instead of a usual bare of chocolate. This deliberate provocation ought to point at the consumer's role in destructing the rainforest and thus the haunt of orang-utans by buying nestle products which need palm oil for which the company pulls down trees to build plantations. Although the intention to involve consumers in the protection of the environment is a common aim, this kind of advertisement raises the question whether this is the right way to evoke attention and if it eventually leads to a more conscious behaviour concerning environment's destruction.

A major advantage of this kind of advertisement is the shock used to convince the viewer of the organisation's intention. As a prototypical advertisement of the chocolate product is used, the viewer does not expect to see something shocking, but the normal sequence of pictures and ideas linked to an advertisement. Using a picture that is shocking and gross, raises the disgust of the viewer, which automatically leads to the feeling of not being able to eat, in this case, anymore Kit Kat bares. The video clip explicitly involves the reader by pulling him into a everyday situation which is then turned into a completely unexpected direction. The descriptive normality used to reach the aim of shock first strengthens the viewer's feeling of usualness and then suddenly tears him out of his comfort zone. Therefore, this way of producing the video clip is a very effective way to reach the viewer's full attention and awareness of the issues described.

Critics of this way of advertisement may point at the cruelty linked to the aim of shocking, which may not be appropriate for a clip of a repudiated environmental organisation. On the contrary, through a development in the media industry that includes more and more shocking, violent and terrifying pictures, society is at the margin of good taste. Even children are confronted with violence in the everyday TV programme and thus in order to actually be able to shock, one need to use pictures that present no whitewashed image of reality but pushes one towards the upsetting truth. As the video, due to its character, will presumably not be broadcasted on TV, through its explosive nature a rapid distribution and word-of-mouth advertisement is ensured. So the producers cleverly achieved the goal of a broad audience by quite simple and effective means. As well, one can assume that the clip reaches an adult or at least nearly adult audience which is the target group of a critical environmental organisation. So even if viewers are not actually interested in environment's protection, by the making of the clip their interest is raised and the chance to persuade even more persons from the actual goal is reinforced.

Not only by means of shocking this video clip is undeniably an excellent way to gain the viewer's attention, but furthermore, picking out a everyday situation that everyone can identify with, proverbially draws one into to scene. The viewer feels more included in the whole topic than by just naming facts in an objective way which will neither touch nor encourage one to actually change the lifestyle in order to save the environment. Mostly every person has already eaten a bare of Nestlé chocolate and therefore cannot deny the fact to have, although maybe unknowing, supported the production of palm oil and the destruction of the rainforest in order to build plantations. Thus, the whole campaign is able to individually address the single viewer and to make him feel guilty about, in this case, having eaten "simple" chocolate, with a probably manageable amount of money and the denunciation of a certain company.

However, there are some critical aspects about this new way of raising consciousness among the consumer which should not be neglected. Picking a certain company and its product in order to state the environmental group's intention certainly addresses the viewer in such a way that he cannot deny his participation in the process of destruction. Nevertheless,



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