The last chapter reading for Visual Communication class was “Chapter 4: Visual Persuasion” or better explained, advertisements. I never would have thought another term for advertisement would be “visual persuasion”, but after reading the chapter it makes a lot of sense. In Chapter 4, visual persuasion images’ major ploy to persuasion is the shock value that it gives to viewers causing them to stop, look, and take in what they are seeing. However, with that shock value that advertisements attempt to create, one must understand the difference between the many different types of advertisements and the information they share with their viewers. Along with learning the differences between different types of advertisements, the chapter also share the history of advertisements and what they do in different fields. The aspect of the chapter, that stood out the most to me was the shock value of advertising. According to the chapter, “Because of the photography’s ability to arouse viewer interest and occasional condemnation, controversial and unusual pictures are sometimes used to shock potential customers to get attention.” When I read that, all I could think about was the many advertisements that I have seen that have seriously caused me to stop and wonder.
This commercial above, is an example of an advertisement that I feel speaks to viewers’ emotions to grab their attention and cause them to wonder. I am very strongly against smoking, especially tobacco smoking. My grandfather died of lung cancer due to tobacco smoking when I was only 8 years old. I barely knew him, yet today, and almost every day, I wish I had had more time to know him. His smoking took that opportunity away from me. Would he have changed, if this ad was around back when he started smoking instead of the belief at that time, that cigarettes weren’t dangerous? I don’t know, but look at the advertisement again. The message of this advertisement is that adults spend every day telling children that smoking is bad and listing the horrible effects that it can cause for its users to experience, but they never think to tell that to themselves. It also points out the effects that it can have on those around you that care about you.
This advertisement, makes me wonder what kind of effect it would have on smokers here at Longwood. Every day I am surrounded by smokers, and it breaks my heart to see them slowly, essentially committing suicide as they actively put harmful chemicals into their bodies. For me, this advertisement shocks me with the hypocrisy it portrays and it makes me want to be a good role model for children in my life by practicing what I preach. Would this advertisement have the same effect on smokers here at Longwood as it had on the viewers where it was broadcast and inspire them to quit? This advertisement is powerful and I think it may actually do the trick, or at least, I’d like to believe it would.