About this advert
11 October, 2010,
This is a typical advert from the NHS using shock to attempt to reduce the effects of smoking as a whole, and to give a life line for addicted smokers to call. The poster is a metaphor for how helpless and vulnerable people who are trying to quit smoking can feel, as if a fish ‘hooked’ on a line unable to get free. The use of the bold, brutal image matched with the fact and advice combination tagline, makes for an effective and thought provoking press campaign. The morbid way of portraying the life of a smoker on this advert creates empathy with non smokers whilst making the people that are ‘hooked’ on smoking think hard about the downsides to smoking due to the negative connotations the poster provides. For the smokers this is much more likely to give them the right mindset to quit whilst also warning non smokers off the expensive and unhealthy habit. ‘Get unhooked’ is an imperative tagline and is in perfect conjunction for the image used. This reinforces the idea of being helpless and out of control whilst indicating the help the NHS could provide would work. The fact these feelings and thoughts will clearly be provoked by the use of this shocking image indicates that the campaign for fills its purpose although doing so in a way some people may find offensive. Although it was a risk using an image most people would find uncomfortable to look at, I believe that the shock techniques used in this ad affectively promote inspiration and guidance for a smoker to quit, or at least provide the first steps. Shock is a technique the NHS have used time and time again and why give up on a winning formula if it s getting the exposure you need? One beauty of this press poster is the simplicity in which it conveys its point and the concise manner of delivering information. 5000 cigarettes is a shocking figure and as well as being linked to health, would also make the smoker looking at the ad think about how much they are spending on the product. The young woman in the advert acts as a deterrent for the teenage population who may be thinking of trying or taking up smoking from a young age. This press ad then works in many ways sending messages to a primary (smokers) and secondary (non smokers) target market, making it useful, educational and successful.
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