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* The layout of material
* The way in which language is manipulated
* The effect on the intended audience
In this essay I will analyse how the use of graphics, language, lay-out and links in this website are effective in raising peoples’ awareness so that Barnardo’s can help to stop and prevent child poverty. Barnardo’s deals with many situations and projects such as day care and play schemes, after school clubs, advice and counselling for parents and parenting education. There are over three hundred of these projects, run by Barnardo’s, around the UK.
In this website, Barnardo’s are appealing to a younger audience. In the text it tells us that they have launched an e-card campaign asking 1 million “children and young people” to respond. I think this is a good idea because most of the young people are on the Internet now as opposed to the older generation. The other aspect of the article that appeals to young people is the fact that it is related to people of the similar age groups and the case study can be related to more easily by younger people as it is about a young person. Although it is aimed at younger people it is going to get passed on to the adults anyway by asking for help on the Internet, telling a teacher as part of a school project. The idea of having this campaign on the Internet is more appealing as more people would look on the Internet for a campaign instead of calling in to a store and picking up a leaflet.
In this campaign, Barnardo’s use pictures to try and persuade us to help. They persuade us by making us feel sympathetic towards the children, which will make us want to help the children. They do this by showing us pictures that we can relate to, pictures such as school halls and corridors, outer doors and swing parks. They show us these pictures because these are places that would be related to children. But the difference, however, is that they show them as being derelict and vandalised. The other thing they use is dull colours, which makes the pictures seem sad, lonely and also evil. By making them derelict and dull they make us think that the victims feel sad and lonely because that is the emotion the pictures give across and because of these emotions we feel entitled to help change their lives. The position, on the page, of the pictures also makes us feel different about helping the campaign. The photographs are placed in the centre of the page and the text is surrounding them. This means that you cannot read the text without looking at the pictures and the emotion in the text with the emotion in the pictures makes it appeal more to us and makes us feeling even more obliged to help the children.
At the top of each page Barnardo’s have placed their logo and slogan. It is placed at the top left-hand corner of each page and I think this is effective because people would look there first. The logo is a picture of what looks like two adults with a child and they look quite cheery which makes you think that the lives of children who are victims of child poverty will end up like that if they get the help from Barnardo’s and the nation-wide public. The slogan underneath this backs it up, it says ” Giving Children Back Their Future”, which is what Barnardo’s are trying to do with this campaign. The slogan and logo are effective, when presented in this way, because they make you feel like you can trust Barnardo’s to give them a better future.
Throughout the website, Barnardo’s keep mentioning the other facilities they operate, which reinforces its stability and reliability. On the first page it leans on the fact that it is safe and offers a safe environment, “safe and stimulating place to play”. The charity does this to show their audience that they are reliable and determined about stopping and preventing child poverty and about getting all the help they can with the campaign. You see can that they always are looking towards the future of the children.
The case study that is included supports this. The case study is a human appeal about someone who was a victim of child poverty and the conclusion of the study tells us how Barnardo’s helped and how the boy is going to change his own life and turn everything around. People can relate to a case study like this because they want a better world and their instincts make them feel sorry for the boy and make them want to help others like him. The other techniques they use are the emotive phrases in the case study. They use phrases such as “neither of the adults had much time for Michael” and they tell us the boy had “no sense of stability”. These phrases are quite harsh and can make you think twice about not wanting to help, especially to an older audience because they wouldn’t want their children growing up like that.
The links on the web page are very clear and helpful, they use FAQ’s (frequently asked questions) such as ” who we are” and “what we do”. These sorts of phrases are also used as headings at the top of each page. The links also include a “support us” heading which you could take as a plea or cry out for help. The “contact us” link means that if you have any additional questions or need help with anything you can contact them easily and even help them more if they need it. The sort of support and help they want is for young people to send an e-card which is also a link at the concluding page. Because it is set out in this format means you don’t need to give any money and it means you have no way out of it because it is eye-catching and you would feel obliged to help because it is any easy thing to do. When people start to read about the campaign they might think they will have to give money but it appeals to the reader because it doesn’t involve an awful lot to change someone’s life.
The language in the campaign is very simple and plain in the text. They don’t use a large variety of vocabularies so that younger people can understand it better because it isn’t difficult or challenging. The text has a lot of emotive language such as, “inescapable aspect” and “lacks local amenities”. The word “you” is used, in the context ” You can be a force for change”, which makes you think that they are talking directly to you and makes you feel that the children’s lives are dependant on you. In the section headed “the facts” bullet points are used which makes the text a lot easier to read and you think that you are reading very little but you actually take in a lot of information.
I think that the idea of a web page is very effective because I know that I would prefer reading something of the Internet than reading a leaflet on a campaign. The most effective technique, I think, is the case study because I thought it was very moving and after I read it I could slightly relate to it because the person seemed to be about the same age as me and obviously wanted to change his life around. What Barnardo’s did to try and change that boy’s life was spectacular. After I finished I sent an e-card because I was persuaded into doing the right thing which was the whole point of the campaign.