Nothing like a guilt trip to get a gaze out of you.
This advertisement was one of many created for Amnesty to highlight some of the most troubling issues the current times at that time, Child Poverty. The image forces a gaze, not through appeal, but through pity, it is purely an image that is designed to provoke a gaze that will cause an action.
It frustratingly, as per usual with these raise money awareness uses various and very effective persuasion techniques to get people to do something about this problem. Not an uncommon way to raise money, and it obviously works much the same as Red Nose Day.
The makers of the campaign target personal guilt as the first and very clear persuasive tactic used within posters we see up on billboards or advertising spaces. For example, when we see this image of a child that is obviously living in poverty, we naturally feel uncomfortable. It's very common unless you are heartless, anyone that lives a life of luxuries or ease would naturally feel guilt to some degree. Through many experiments, such as that carried out by Carlsmith and Gross 1969: p232-236, they showed that if you can get individuals to experience guilt then they are more likely to then comply with a request, like to give your money. This shows the importance of the second statement in the advert “Help stop Child Poverty in America”. This calls not only on personal guilt but those who feel a desire to help their own country.
For me, drawing on my feelings or patriotism about my own country don’t really have that effect, so wouldn’t cause me to act out of love for my country but seeing poverty stricken children gets to me, purely from the perspective that I look after kids that have come from destitute lives and it is nothing short of heart-breaking what is considered norm for these kids.
In addition to this, a second but as equally effective method is used. Due to the adverts use of Child Poverty in particular as opposed to poverty as a whole, it places you into the role of responsibility for that child, what will happen if you don’t pay? In terms of this advert, it would lead the person viewing and digesting the image to look further into how they could help with this issue.
So they came to conclusion that the mix of both emotional techniques would surely produce a desired effect. This would lead to a hopefully successful campaign for Amnesty in trying to tackle the issue at hand.
Carlsmith, A. M. & Gross A. E. (1969). Some effects of Guilt on Compliance. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 11, 232-239