Campaign Dilemma- Does anything “shock” young people anymore?

by leeshb

Looking at previous adverts that have really shocked me, also known as “Shockvertising”,  triggered a thought. Do young people through to young adults in this generation find things really that “shocking” anymore?

Television, film, video games and mobile phone apps. All of these formats of media used by people every day, each generating content including violence, gore, drugs, sexual references- that is widely available for children, teenagers and young adults. This content is becoming less taboo and scary, making the fear threshold for people much higher.

Looking at “Shockvertising” especially with campaigns for Drink and Drug awareness aimed at young people, I’m sure that Agencies and Companies are finding it hard to develop campaigns with the aim to shock audiences on a large scale, to make them re-think what Drink/Drugs could potentially do to them. Now, I’m not saying that all people react the same, as I still react to previous shocking adverts such as the “Think” Road Safety/Drink Driving advert featuring two men in a pub discussing a woman, before the “driver” has a drink when he shouldn’t have and the table brutally slam  into the woman mimicking a car crash.

However, I do think that many young people could be shown an advert like that in the morning, gasp at it, then by dinner time they’ve forgotten what they saw. Not leaving the imprint that these crucial campaigns aim to leave. Do the agencies try to break boundaries by becoming MORE shocking, or take a different route completely?

“Think- 30 For A Reason Campaign”, Shockvertising

I maybe would suggest using more family orientated advertising, as most young people don’t really consider the effects to family members when drink driving or getting into the back of the car of someone who has had one too many. If a young boy could see in an advertising a mother getting killed by a drink driver, or a precious little sister getting in an accident due to her brother’s reckless driving- then maybe the message would stick. I just think the traditional blood, gore and loud noises isn’t enough to get into the brains of young people anymore.

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