You Wish You Learned This in Advertising Class
We often sit back and think of how clever the Super Bowl ads are, or how creative Coke ads tend to be, but this one surely blows all others out of the water. And it’s not actually trying to sell anything at all.
You see, this advertisement is about awareness. Child abuse is terrible, we all agree on that. Unfortunately, kids don’t really understand what child abuse is. They don’t realize that it’s not okay for their parents to beat them up, just like it’s not okay for them to beat up their schoolmates. In an effort to combat kids’ ignorance on the matter, the Spanish Aid to Children and Adolescents at Risk Foundation (ANAR) has just pioneered a new type of advertisement directed towards these abused children. Unfortunately, all of this press might deem the ad useless, but it’s a clever idea that might actually save a few kids from a childhood of fear and misery.
Using the same technology as many “animated” stickers and 3D toys, called a lenticular top layer, this advertisement displays a different message to adults and children in an effort to empower the children to ask for help. ANAR runs an anonymous phone line that children and teenagers can call when they’re in violent or dangerous situations. In order to advertise for their completely confidential phone line, they created this adult-targeted advertisement that shows the face of a child and the following message to all readers over the height of 4 feet 5 inches:
“Sometimes child abuse is only visible to the child suffering it.”
However, for those readers who are shorter, i.e. children, the image changes to show bruises and scratches on the same child’s face, as well as this message:
“If somebody hurts you, phone us and we’ll help you.”
ANAR used average heights for adults and children to find the sweet spot for changing the message, ensuring that most children 10 and under will be able to see the message.
Unfortunately, children may not realize that the adult can’t see the same message they see, and many young children can’t read yet. Additionally, it would take a very clear-thinking child to memorize the phone number in a matter of seconds. While there are plenty of critiques of this advertisement, the intention is in the right place.
The next question is directed at the advertisement style itself. Many fear that this will be the next way of influencing children, with advertisements in toy stores claiming the importance or necessity of owning certain products. I’d be interested to see how this pans out, but for ANAR, if it helps one child escape violence, then it is worth all the trouble.