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Comparing Two Charity Advertisements Essay

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In this essay I will be comparing the advertising leaflet for Christian Aid with the leaflet produced by The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA). This essay will be analysing how the different charities try to persuade us, the audience to change our views, make the people want to do something to help them and the difficulties these charities face. I will be examining and commenting on the effectiveness of these adverts.

The RSPCA are a charity organization set up to help animals in Britain and Christian Aid helps out people and children Worldwide. We need these charities because they help people in need and they also support communities. We need charities to help people who cannot support themselves because everyone deserves to have a life of their own which they can enjoy. We give to charities for many reasons, but the main reason we give to charities is because we feel guilty. We feel guilty because we are so well off and we take our houses, Television and having food and water for granted. However, people in third world countries can not even afford to have a roof above their head and in some extreme cases of poverty they can not afford food and clean water. Some people give for compassion.

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This is when they sympathise with these people and animals and they feel sorry for them so they give money because they want to help them. However, some people give because of their religious belief. Muslims give to charities because of Zakat, one of the pillars of Islam. It reminds Muslims of the fact that whatever wealth they may possess is due to the blessings of Allah and it should be spent according to the His commands. Some people give to charity because they believe it is their moral duty to give to charity. In addition some people give to charities because they want people to think they are generous and they want to be recognized as that and get praise for it.

There are hundreds of different charities which help out in different ways. These different charities include charities that support animal rights, environmental agencies and pressure groups, humanitarian charities, medical charities and child protection. The spectrum of human emotion can be manipulated visually and imaginatively. Pictures can be formed mentally from descriptive words or even statistics. Charities use this to their advantage, this works extremely well. It is their greatest technique for persuasion. Charities constantly need to advertise due to competition. There are hundreds of charities which help different causes and this is why there are so many different charities to give to which shows there is so much competition. On top of this there is the National Lottery.

Since the national lottery there has been a decrease in the number of people giving to charity. The National Lottery is a huge profit making organisation and out of this they profit they do give to charity. However they only give a small proportion of their money to charity and recently there has been some controversy on which charities they give to. Most charities also do not get government funding which means they rely on the public to donate money to keep their charity running. Charities advertise in various ways. These include the broadcast media which could be television or Radio, Print Media which consists of billboards, posters, newspaper (tabloids and broadsheets) and magazines; we can also include advertising on the internet.

Advertising is very important in our culture and is always around us. Everything is advertised varying from houses to the clothes we wear and films we watch. Advertisements are a way to persuade people to do what you want them to do, whether it is to donate to tour charity or to buy your product. Advertisements have been around for centuries, one of the first advertisements was in a newspaper in 1704. This shows how long they have been around and how long people have had to learn how to manipulate them to their advantage.

Charities mainly use the print media option because it cheaper than television and radio advertisement. Also print media is more easily accessible to everybody unlike radio and television. This may also be advantageous because instead of having to write out a cheque the print media will probably have a tear off slip which can be more convenient to send off. This has been used in the RSPCA leaflet.

Charities target people who are financially stable and socially and globally aware of the problems people face in the world. This is because these sorts of people are more likely to give because they are likely to feel guiltier than others and if they know about global issues then are also likely to empathise with these people. Charities can target their audience by advertising in certain newspapers such as broadsheets for example ‘The Guardian’ or’ The Telegraph.’ The type of people who read these sort of papers are more likely to give than people who read ‘The Sun’ or ‘The Daily Sport’ because they are probably more likely to be globally aware and they are probably better educated, so they have better jobs and would therefore would have a more disposable income to give to charities.

The main purpose of the RSPCA is to prevent cruelty to animals. We know this because it says ‘The aims of the RSPCA are to prevent cruelty and promote kindness to animals.’ The main purpose of Christian Aid is to help people, regardless of their race or religion, to tackle the causes of poverty and injustice. We know because the information inside the leaflet shows us that they are trying to help people like ‘Valliamma and Shashore have a life before Death.’ From the name ‘Christian’ Aid people tend to believe that this charity only helps people who are Christian but this is not true, this name was made centuries back when this was not a multi-cultural society, as it is today, but it had to the name because they were to well known to change it.

The Christian Aid leaflet uses an image of a canned drink on the front cover. This is a red colour, with the title ‘Fresh Air’. The words ‘Fresh air’ are very strong as their slogan and also very emotive, as it makes us think of those people in undeveloped countries, who do not have anything but air. This image of a can is very effective because it reminds people of ‘Coca Cola’ and western culture and capitalism. It shows how our culture has dominated the world, and how unfortunate some people are. The colour red is very effective because it has negative connotations of blood and death which reminds us of what is happening out in the world and makes us want to donate money. On the back of the can there is a box titled ‘Nutritional Information’ which is written in a large font to show that is the title, then the writing inside is a smaller font size. When we first open the poster our eyes are immediately led to the picture on the left.

This is because we read from left to right so the left hand side is the primary optical area for us. The writing above the picture is in bold and in red. This is more eye-catching and we are more likely to read this before we read any of the other text because the bright red and the dominance in the size of text will probably strike our attention before the other text would. There is a caption below the picture which is in a smaller font than the one which is used for the rest of the writing. This has been deliberately made small because this information is not as important as the other text. On the right hand side, there is another photo and below it there is a caption and in an even smaller font than this there are the Christian Aid contact details. This has been put at the bottom of the page because it is the last thing that has been out on the page so it memorable. The biggest writing on this page is at the top of the page on the right.

This is used to make sure that everyone reads this, even if they do not read the other text because this is the most important text. It also is the centre page of the three flaps, so it is also been put there as a big centre point. The right hand flap can then be pulled open to show more writing in the middle and on the right there are two small pictures surrounded by writing. The writing is broken into paragraphs so it seems easier to digest instead having big chunks of text which some people may find off putting.

The text is split in the middle with alternating bold red text then normal text. On the right hand side each paragraph starts off in bold with the words ‘Just �24’ or ‘�36’. This is used to emphasise the amount of money, which for us is not a lot but for people in Africa is enough to build a life on. At the bottom again we have big, red, bold text, to stand out against the rest of the text as it is asking us to give us money and the CA do not want us to miss this. At the bottom we have the Christian Aid logo and below the slogan ‘We Believe in Life before Death’. This has been put here because this is the terminal optical area as it is the last thing we read on the right-hand side when we read from left to right so we will remember this.

The RSPCA leaflet shows a cat on the cover, sitting on a doorstep and staring at us. This scene seems absolutely normal. The heading is in a bold white font which gives positive connotations as it makes us think of peace. At the bottom of the page on the right, we have the RSPCA logo in the terminal optical area which is effective because it makes it more identifiable and memorable. Then if we lift out the flap underneath, we see an image of what seems to be a normal house. There is a cat sitting on top of the sofa. The title on the top is written in a big black bold colour. This black colour gives negative connotations compared to the white heading on the first image because it is shows darkness.

Below there is white writing which is smaller but is still in bold. It is now that we see the next picture which instantly gives very negative connotations from just looking at it. There are faeces on the floor, it looks like a very neglected area and there are tins of cat food as well. Using black and white to contrast between negative and positive features is a very clever way to easily give the effect you want. The RSPCA advert has very little text compared to the CA advert and big pictures. They have also printed their advert in black and white whereas on the other hand the CA advert has been printed in colour. This was probably printed in black and white because it is cheaper so more leaflets can be printed within their budget, informing more people of their charity.

Nowadays, charities are using more and more shocking images in their adverts in order to make the audience empathise and feel sorry for these people. For example, a recent Barnardos advert showed a baby with a cockroach and a syringe in its mouth and this was banned because it was thought to be too shocking for the British public. This however is very effective, and if people were to believe that this kind of thing was happening then they would be more likely to give. However, this could have been made very shocking purposefully, to grab attention and to get publicity.

When we first see the RSPCA advert we are confronted by a rhetorical question asking us whether this cat is happily watching the world go by. This makes us start to think whether something is going on and leads us to read on to see if there is anything going on. Then, when we open up the leaflet this question is answered, but in the form of another rhetorical question and in the background there is an image of a room. Then below this tile is writing. This writing is telling us what actually happened in this room. It talks about the cat ‘Boots’ being ‘soiled with faeces’. They have used the name ‘Boots’ to make it seem more personal to us. The ‘faeces’ could have been replaced with ‘excretion’ or ‘pooh’ but ‘faeces’ is used to make it sound more technical and scientific. This helps to make it more shocking and give the text more of an impact.

Short sentence structure is used to make the reader remember, short sentences are also more effective than long sentences, which helps the reader remember what is said. Then on the back we have a zoom in on what has happened. It has information of an advice line and national cruelty helpline places next to a phone. At the end the text ‘This was just one’ is placed in the terminal optical area which makes the sentence stay in the persons mind. Moving back to the middle section there is a photograph of three kittens staring at us. It seems as if they are asking for help when they look at us. This is called the ‘look to camera’ technique. The title uses an opinion which is made to look like a fact when it is not necessarily true that ‘Boots ahs found a loving new family’. Below the picture there is a black box which is used to draw our attention.

The writing inside this box uses triadic structure and repetition of ‘�3 a month’ in bold then what this can do to help being listed three times. At the end it says ‘Please help.’ This is a polite request. This is used because it is harder to decline a polite request than it is a normal request. Again in the last section we have the cat using the look to camera technique which seems as if the cat is asking us ‘Please be my friend?’ The title uses emotional blackmail when it says “I’ll be a friend for life to defenceless animals suffering from cruelty.” This is effective because it makes us want to be their friend, and protect them from cruelty. This advert uses many examples of rhetorical questions, because they are thought evoking and make us want to read on, until we reach the end, where we meet the sponsor form.

‘Dying for a drink? Imagine if this was all you had to drink today.’ This opening question is a rhetorical question and has alliteration. It persuades you to imagine, a natural reaction is to do so. It gives a vibrant picture and feeling, making you sympathize with these people. There is a lot of detail given in the first sentence, which is a very good way to draw in the reader to move forth into the leaflet. On the back of the can there is a box titled ‘Nutritional Information’. Inside this box are facts. These facts are shocking but interesting and lead us to read on inside the leaflet. This is the purpose of the front cover of the Christian aid’s leaflet. As we open the leaflet at the top we are given the title ‘How one well helped save a community from extinction’. The word extinction seems very powerful and this title amazes us to know that ‘just’ one well could make such a difference. Below the picture we see more facts about how they helped so many other people in Mali by building ‘500 concrete wells’. The first paragraph tells us what is happening in Mali and the problems. In the second paragraph we are told about what they did about it.

The chief of tonsogou, Abdoulaye Togo, is described as ‘dynamic’ and ‘determined’. This is used to make people think that he is a good person and that we should send money to help him. Also, using the persons name makes it seem more personal. The third paragraph tells us the effects of them helping this village. The word ‘flourished’ is used because it gives off very positive connotations. There is a quote from one of the villagers saying that now they have more time to spin cotton. This is also very positive because it shows now that they have clean water and they can work, and sell their products so they will get more money. The next flap uses a quote right at the beginning. This quote is very emotive and moving, and makes us think again, of the image we thought of from the first rhetorical question. This gets us thinking again and we empathize with these people. This next paragraph uses the word ‘Imagine’ at the beginning of each sentence.

This is used to involve us and to again make us empathize with these people. It uses statistics such as ‘1.1 billion people’ and ‘one- sixth of the worlds population’ to shock us. The flap is then opened up and we see the centre page which is carried on talking about people like Yalaya and how they have helped the village become more ‘self-sufficient’. This makes us realize that by us helping them, we are helping them help themselves. The next part talks about how after building the well ‘the people of tinsogou got together with 14 other villages and between them built their own health centre’. This is very impressive to us and it makes us think that it is worth helping these people because they can help other people by making a health centre. It also says that they have made a school. This is good because then the future generations can be educated and may not have to struggle in life as that village once did.

The next paragraph consists of the quote ‘”When we realized what we could achieve we didn’t want to stop at the well. We wanted to go on and make other things happen for the village.”‘ This quote shows that CA is a charity that is very determined to help people out in every way they can. The rest of the flap says that so much was achieved by just one gift of water, and that today we can be part of these achievements by donating. This makes us want to be part of these achievements and helping other people out. It says ‘the battle against poverty’. This is a very powerful, effective sentence, full of strong words such as ‘battle’, and ‘poverty’ to persuade us to give money, so that we do win the ‘battle against poverty’. It also talks about this being a difference we can make and it says please do.

This is a polite request because it asks us nicely but in a way it is also telling us to do it. The last flap informs us that ‘Just �24’ buys eight bags of cement, to help a ‘community like Valiamma’s in Sri Lanka’. It makes it very personal now when it almost introduces her by saying she has seven children and that she ‘only’ earns twenty pence a day selling rice flour. It is very emotive because she uses twenty pence to feed seven children and herself and we spend twenty pounds going out to a restaurant, eating what we want. The use of the word just is also very effective because for in a commercialized, developed country like ours twenty four pounds is not a lot of money.

The same thing is repeated in the next paragraph but this time it is thirty six pounds for Shashore in Ethiopia to give money so that she can grow her own trees, because the food that she grows only lasts for five months. This also makes us think how lucky we are that we can have as much food as we like, and more whenever like as we are constantly surrounded by shops and restaurants. The last paragraph asks us to help ‘Valliamma and Sahashore have a life before death.’ This is a clever way to use their slogan ‘A life before death’. This slogan is very effective because religions such as Hinduism and Buddhism, believe in re-incarnation and even Christianity believes in heaven and hell which is life after death, but CA wants people to have a life before they die.

Both adverts are very effective. However, I believe that the RSPCA leaflet is more effective because they have used more persuasive devices and emotive language where as the Christian Aid leaflet mainly states facts and when it uses persuasive devices it is very blatant so it is not as effective. An example of this from Christian Aid is ‘Please give whatever you can today and help more people like Valliamma and Shashore have a life before death.’ The images used in the RSPCA advert is very emotive when it has the animal looking at you, especially in the last image, because it seems as if the cat is asking for help. I believe that the RSPCA would get more support from the public because of the fact that Britain is well known for caring about animals. For example we only have a National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children but we have a Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Therefore I believe that more people would give to the RSPCA than to Christian Aid.

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