Tuesday, September 4, 2007


I have always been interested in impactful imagery and love the use of photography in print advertising, which is why I find Saatchi & Saatchi's cause-related advertising so successful. Often considered shocking or controvercial, Saatchi and Saatchi's designs never fail to grab your attention. For example, this print advert uses shock tactics to offend the reader, initially grabbing their attention and intiguing them enough to read on. After reading the first few paragraphs, you are informed that it is addressing human rights and the headline becomes more appropriate. It reads "If you're offended by this advert, you should be. Nobody should be treated like this. Yet unfortunately, there are millions of people around the world who are."

Their technique is often simple, using imagery with a plain background to increase the focus of the advert with a short, snappy headline that is usually a witty pun to accompany it. These two elements work in harmony with each other on the page to strengthen the idea - without the headline, the imagery would not make sense and vice versa.

A combination of offensive imagery and language is quite humorously contradicted by the polite statement "please clean it up" in this advert adressing dog fouling.

The two images above are particularly impactful. The anti-smoking advert uses an image of a cigarette that has been cleverly transformed into the image of a snail by manipulating the shape of the smoke and has the headline "slow poison". The association created between the headline and image of the snail is witty and memorable. The advert to the right shows the bruised face of baby. Its battered appearance makes it almost appear to be five years older, making it a hard image to forget. Saatchi & Saatchi use a metaphorical headline to highlight the atrocities that occur behind closed doors and bring our attention to towards making a change.

This image shows frames from a television commercial created by Saatchi & Saatchi for NSPCC in 1999. It shows iconic images found in a child's bedroom such as an England footballer and Rupert the bear covering their eyes to the reality of child abuse. It highlights the fact that you don't have to see what's going on to know that there is something sinister happening. I also find this advert a good example of how the shocking acts of child abuse do not need to be shown in order for them to be imagined by the viewer, making the advert accessible by a wider audience and more successful.

Saatchi & Saatchi are world-renowned for their cause-related ideas. There are far too many brilliant ads to write about them all, but these are a few more that I admire.

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