Persuasion – Environmental Campaigns

After our lesson yesterday we were given the task of picking our subject out of a list. The one I felt most compelled to was environment. I am quite passionate about animals and saving the planet so I feel I could create an emotive campaign. Hopefully alerting people to this growing issue that is destroying our planet the the beautiful animals that inhabit it.

I need to do some research into some exciting campaigns now to see what is already out there and if theres anything that is underrepresented. One of the first subjects that I see a lot is climate change and how its affecting endangered animals. WWF is a huge company behind these sorts of campaigns they have lots of posters about this issue and are constantly sparking conversation about it. Its already quite a well represented issue thought and I want to create something a little different because there are so many worthy causes out there. However the posters I do find very impactful and there are things I can learn from them. For instance the reason I chose the first poster is because its quite jarring, it stood out to me. At first I thought it was an any smoking poster with the dark engulfing feeling. It really captures the feeling of dread when thinking of global warming and the terrifying effect it could have. The imagery is very scary by depicting the man as a fish it hits home that its not just animals that will suffer its everyone. I think it quite a powerful piece I just wish it had a more direct link to help the issue i.e a link or suggesting ways to help. This is something I should consider for my own brief. Do I need to include actual ways to help? It may make the process easier for the audience to get involved without having them do lots of research about what they can do.

Giving water to those in need is not something I thought about when thinking of environmental campaigns. It does benefit deprived countries by helping farmers to grow crops and providing clean drinking water for human and animals to survive. So I guess this would come under environmental issues. Its another very well represented campaign which often appears on television and for red nose day, which is coming up. I always find the promotional material to be the same and using imagery as an motional tool to help raise money. Our tutor told us of a word that I feel does represent some issues with these campaigns, its poverty porn. The meaning; ‘any type of media, be it written, photographed or filmed, which exploits the poor’s condition in order to generate the necessary sympathy for selling newspapers or increasing charitable donations or support for a given cause’. I feel it is important to use emotion to gain support for a noble cause but is it right to exploit deprived people for monetary gain. I feel there is a better more ethical way of doing his without taking advantage of venerable people. Its something to consider when creating my campaign and I think I need to know where to draw the line with my own ethics.

Campaigns about littering and excessive waste is something I saw a lot in my last project while looking at land art. Its a very passionate topic to a lot of people out because of the harm it causes to both humans and the environment. These two piece of work are for letting the public know that again its not just the wildlife that is affected by your waste, it does effect humans too. I feel disgust when looking at this imagery, thinking about what rubbish I could be taking in through my food. This way of involving the audience in the issue I think would be quite effective. As humans we can are very selfish, take the meat industry. I think its selfish of humans to think we are higher than another species. Why should they be tortured, killed and eaten when we have other resources available? By making the issue inflict something on the audience hopefully they will want to change it for themselves. Its not the best outlook but if thats the way to help the environment than we have to do what we have to do. For this project i’ll have to consider my audience, its hard to change peoples minds who are stuck in their own ignorant ways.

I picked these two campaigns out because they were clever and different to anything I had seen yet. There are a lot of posters when looking at environmental campaigns so seeing something different was inspiring. These plastic bags tell the truth of wasteful disposable plastics and how they can kill our wildlife. They are impactful with the dark imagery and I can image would turn head on the street. Its this type of media that is shocking enough to be impactful but I feel doesn’t cross that line like poverty porn does. I think for this project I need to create inventive ways of grabbing peoples attention to really engage them in the issues.

After doing this research I’m feeling very passionate about creating something that will contribute to the cause. I wasn’t completely looking forward to this brief but after this thinking session I’m quite excited to do something different and explore new topics.


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