How harsh is too harsh?

January 9, 2009

How far do we need to go to make our statement?

The German organization Sharkproject along with Young & Rubicam implemented the following campaign to raise awareness about the extinction of sharks, specially regarding the common practice of cutting the sharks fins and throwing them back into the ocean.

This practice, called finning, leaves the shark unable to swim, just floating to the bottom of the ocean, bleeding to death.

How would you feel if you got this in your mailbox, and after opening the envelope according to its instructions you get the message- “You have just finned a shark” along with a bloody fin in your hands?

I think this would definitely call my attention… after dropping the envelope to the floor in shock. Would you pick it up and make a donation or throw it away?

 Does the end justify the means?

Sometimes when it comes to social campaigns the agencies feel a need to go an extra mile in order to get donations trying to give the message as much impact as possible, to shock the viewer and thus make him/her stand in the place of who needs the help, hoping that way they’ll understand the importance of the donation. But, does it really work that way? Will people stop believing crying children? Will they shut away ads that hurt them? or will the viewers in fact make a donation to the cause?

3 Responses to “How harsh is too harsh?”

  1. Es una gran campaña, lo único que en verdad es lamentable que la mercadotecnia social no pega por la falta de recursos! $$$

  2. [...] fin, an illustration of cruel treatment of increasingly endangered beasts of the sea. [Source: Some guy's blog] French ban cell phone ads targeting kids — All advertising of the devices to children under 12 is [...]

  3. cherry said

    I think social campaigns must be harsh in order to really produce an impact. However, I don’t think that the tougher and crueler ads are the more benefits for the cause they get. It produces a greater impact on people, but not necessarily bigger donations or contributions. The real consequence of this impact is social awareness.

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