Evaluate the techniques of the NSPCC Full Stop Campaign Essay

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With the increasing number of child abuse cases in the UK it has become imperative that an effective preventative campaign reaches the general public. At least one child dies every week as a result of an adult’s cruelty with more than 30,000 children being on child protection registers and over 600 more being added each week. The implementation of measures that may effectively influence the behaviour of these members of public that inflict the mistreatment are recognised, therefore as a vital aim of child abuse campaigns.

Television child abuse campaigns are an important tool for reaching this aim; they complement, but do not replace however regular year long activities aimed at improving the lives of children. Through evaluating the NSPCC Full Stop Campaign with particular emphasis on the ‘Cartoon Child’ advert, I aim to evaluate the success in raising awareness of the issue of child abuse in British society.

In 1973 there were a reported 100 child deaths as a result of child abuse and in 2002 there is at least one child death every day making the figure a shocking 365 at the lowest. This is an increase of over 250 in 29 years. When thinking of this in the light of children’s lives lost through no fault of their own it is an alarming raise in fatality. The statistics on child abuse in the UK are truly horrifying. Yet the known facts reveal only a fraction of the problem. This is because most cases of abuse go unreported, leaving children to suffer the pain and misery of child abuse in silence. It is important to understand this not with relevence to the statistics but actually to imagining it was your own family or children.

* Each week at least one child will die as a result of an adult’s cruelty.

* A quarter of all rape victims are children.

* Most abuse is committed by someone the child knows and trusts.

* The abuse is often known about or suspected by another adult who could have done something to prevent it.

* Three-quarters of sexually abused children do not tell anyone at the time. Around a third are not able to tell anyone about the experience later.

* Recent NSPCC research involving 2,869 young adults revealed that 1 in 10 of them had suffered serious abuse or neglect during childhood

* Each week at least 450,000 children are bullied at school.

Education about child abuse along with training and campaigns have been introduced over time to help people understand these dangers. It is important to understand these figures of child abuse to make people aware of what actually happens in real life in the United Kingdom. It is due to these very shocking figures produced that the NSPCC brought together their Full Stop campaign. The sole aim of the campaign is bringing awareness of the cause of child abuse in Britain. It is this campaign that I am going to analyse in depth and deconstruct in order to answer my question, “Evaluate the techniques

Genre originates the french word meaning ‘type’ and is very important for the producers of Media products to follow. In production the genre is like a toolbox which the producer can draw on and allows the prospective audience to predict and choose which products they will enjoy. The audience recognises the conventions of a particular genre. The genre that the advertisement I am using fits into the group of campaigns. Increasingly campaigning groups have turned to advertising techniques to make extremely powerful and dramatic commercials, to encourage people to rethink their attitudes and to support particular causes.

The NSPCC is one of the largest child protection charities in Britain. It is also one of the most progressive and successful, its reputation with the public and the media second to none. With 86% of the NSPCC’s income coming from donations, creating and maintaining awareness of what the NSPCC does is vital. In March 1999 the NSPCC launched the Full Stop Campaign and related Full Stop Appeal, to create mass awareness of the problem of child abuse and make the public aware that we all have responsibility to help combat it. Together the Full Stop Campaign and Appeal form a major integrated marketing campaign, inviting every sector of society to become involved in helping end the cruelty to children. Full Stop. The NSPCC markets itself both proactively and reactively. Marketing activity is generated by many NSPCC departments and divisions, with clear communication between each to ensure that all are communicating the same key messages with the same style of delivery.

The Full Stop Campaign was a simple, bold aim based on a national inquiry finding that child abuse can almost always be prevented, if the will to do so is there. Research indicated that most people found child abuse abhorrent but felt powerless to stop it. Months of preparation led to an integrated communications strategy designed to move people in stages from passive resignation through emotional engagement to active involvement in the campaign. They planned a massive publicity drive to focus the nation’s attention on the horror of child cruelty, raise awareness of the scale of the problem, and provoke a strong emotional response. Using television and outdoor advertising, media coverage and direct mail, their key objective was to mobilise a million people to sign a pledge to end child cruelty over a 12-month period.

A three-week TV advertising campaign, showed childhood icons hiding their eyes from harrowing scenes of cruelty, was scheduled to break on 16 March 1999. Covering 90% of the population, it was underpinned by 48-sheet and six-sheet posters on 3,5000 sites.

The NSPCC PR team set up a series of pre-launch briefings with key journalists and columnists, sent out embargoed media packs and separate releases to target media, placed stories, and co-ordinated the work of a national PR agency and nine regional PR operations. They aimed to:

* Create ‘must-see’ interest in new awareness- raising TV advertisements;

* Provoke debate and discussion in newspaper columns and broad cast programmes;

* Highlight widespread and high profile support for the campaign.

They built national interest the day before the ads broke with exclusive stories about the campaign in The Guardian and on ITN Nightly News and a report on child murders in The Independent. The media blitz proper began the next day. It was typified by The Sun’s ‘Child cruelty ads will break the nation’s heart’ headline and a running BBC news story, from Radio 4 Today and The World Tonight to the Breakfast and 9pm News. The high profile of the campaign was sustained during the next five days with discussion and comment in national and regional press and broadcast media.

The high profile launch by the Duke of York and the prime minister, followed by a �3m TV and poster advertising campaign featuring celebrities and icons such as footballer Alan Shearer, the Spice Girls, Rupert Bear and Action Man. The ads showed these figures covering their eyes at scenes of emotional, physical and sexual abuse, with the strap line: “Sometimes we can’t bear to look either.”

The campaign was developed partly in response to the findings of the independent National Commission of Inquiry into the prevention of child abuse. Chaired by Lord Williams of Mostyn, the commission reported in 1996 after taking evidence involving more than 10,000people, many of whom told of repeated child abuse they had suffered as children.

The second phase or phase two of the Full Stop is the most recent and will run until 2005 and aims to turn awareness into action. A hard-hitting TV and poster campaign began in January 2002. The TV ads feature a set of animated images showing a young boy being hit, then recovering in cartoon style. The boy finally falls down a staircase and behind a chair but when the camera focuses on him, it is a real boy rather than an animation that viewers see.

The ad campaign will be supported by a range of materials and activities for professionals such as social workers, teachers, GPs and sports coaches to help them to recognise signs of abuse. The same message will go to the public through leaflets to be distributed in doctors’ surgeries, hospitals and community venues. Around 60,000 of the NSPCC’s campaign, partners will distribute posters based on the new ads.

Saatchi and Saatchi produced the campaign for the NSPCC that I have analysed in this project. Saatchi and Saatchi work throughout Europe as well as in the USA and Australia. In the UK, there are agencies at work in most large cities but the largest being based in London. Saatchi and Saatchi have allocated roles in the agencies with the essential person being the account executive. This representative of the agency will look after the business. When the right media for the adverts have been chosen, the creative director will work with the copywriters and art directors to plan the ads.

These people are the persuaders who have brainstorming sessions where they think up the most original line and most telling image. The art director designs the way the ad will look and works with layout artists and typesetters to create the maximum impact. They work closely with the copywriters who write slogans and catch words. Their job is to make the copy work get the message across in the most effective way. Advertising team Saatchi and Saatchi created the successful Cartoon child advert in this very manner.

Real Children Don’t Bounce Back was a thirty second advert run in January 2002. Shock tactics were used that were upsetting but made an impact on the audience.

Throughout the commercial we are shown a father mentally and physically abusing his son at home. Hitting, shouting, slapping and burning him. The only difference is that tbe child is not a real child but is a cartoon child. The cartoon child recovers from each attack the real life father makes, as cartoon characters always do. When the cartoon child is hit, for instance, a bump might appear from his head, but when he pushes it down, it disappears. Later the father burns the cartoon boy with a cigarette. If the cartoon child is punched by the real father, his stomach will show an exact impression of the father’s fist before popping back to normal. The use of humour in the advert in an inappropriate situation is shocking. Cartoons represent an image of childhood.

At the end of the commercial the cartoon child takes a particularly bad beating and is pushed down the stairs. As we move closer we see that left on the floor behind the armchair, where the cartoon child lay, the body of a real child about the same age showing clear signs of abuse. The real child in motionless.

It is important when evaluating to do a textual analysis of the advert to see what forms, ideals and conventions are combined in the advert in comparison with the natural ones of the genre. The scene of the advert is at home during an average day. The audience can tell that it is an ordinary day due to the lack of decoration and the plain look to the house interior. There is a tracking shot down the hall towards the front door where the father enters the house. Once he has entered the house he begins to abuse his cartoon son in various ways.

The child sitting on the sofa is unable to react to his father’s abuse and gets hit round the head. Due to the fact that he is a cartoon a large lump appears on his head and stars begin to circle around him. There is then a dissolve to the next scene, which is set in the hallway where the father throws a toy at the child. It then cuts to a scene set in the kitchen where the father picks the child up and throws him to the otherside of the room. The child hits his head on the wall as he lands. A lump appears on his head but he is able to push it back into his head as a cartoon does.

Then you see the father stub a cigarette out on the boy where he catches fire and almost flies round the room as if he were a popped balloon. Another cuts to scene four where the father enters the bedroom. We see the boy cowering in a corner away from his father’s rage. The father shakes and throttles the child violently and then chases him out of the bedroom and throws him down the stairs where he eventually lands obscured by a sofa. As the camera pans round the sofa, we see a real child lying at the bottom of the stairs.

The words ‘Real children don’t bounce back’ appear on the screen which then change to, ‘If you think a child is being abused do something. Together we can stop child abuse. Full Stop. For advice call our helpline 0808 800 5000. Calls can be anonymous.’ It emphasises the point that there are always people there to help you and no body should be made to suffer in silence.

The Mise-En-Scene in this advert creates the dramatic impact. The setting of this advert takes place in a house, which has fairly dark and moody lighting.

The editing establishes a rhythm between the medium shots of the child playing and the close ups and long shots of the child being abused. With point of view shots from both the child and the father. These shots really pull out the emotional emphasis of the child’s feelings and the stupidity contained within the advert. The clever pan at the end is a clever twist to the end of the advert purposely there to make you think about the whole advert.

The colours in the advert are dark and slightly morbid in contrast to the colours of the child’s jumper, which is bright and cheerful. The editing and use of setting manages to suggest dreariness, pain and complete passivity in just thirty seconds. This is mainly due to the contrast of pace with ads around it. The sound used in the advert is cartoon music which gives sound effects as the child is hit and abused, such as ‘doing’ or just the sound of the stars rushing round his head.

The Charity sector is a very competitive market place, with thousands of UK charities competing for their share of a limited pool of money. This means that in order to raise funds charities must maintain awareness amongst potential donors and fundraisers, effectively communicating the sailnce of their cause using modern marketing techniques and strong customer focus. In the age of customer choice, the successful fundraiser is the one who understands the essential relationship between donor and cause, and sees donors as partners in meeting the need.

“What motives them to give? What are their needs and aspirations in the relationship? What involvement and recognition do they want or expect? How do they relate to each other? “The role of the fundraiser is to build real, meaningful relationships that satisfy the donor, as well as to optimise income for the cause.” – Giles Pegram, Deputy Chief Executive and Director of Appeals, NSPCC.

Representation is concerned with the way in which the world, or some part of it, is portrayed in a media product. Media representations can cover images of people, places, ideas etc. People who study the media pay particular attention to these representations and also identify the reasons why they appear. The main people being represented in this advert and the father and son. These are however not exactly who the advert is aimed at. It’ s target audience is everybody and after its launch 90% of the general public agreed that ‘we all have a role to play in ending cruelty to children’ and two thirds agreed that ‘we really can put an end to cruelty to children.’

British agency, Saatchi and Saatchi topped the list in 1990 with an income of well over £114,000,000. Because so much money is involved in advertising, it is not surprising that it is a subject that arouses a great many differences of opinion. With Saatchi and Saatchi’s direct focus on child abuse in the advert it is hardly surprising that the commercial comes with a post 9 p.m. watershed viewing restriction.

Since the early nineties, consumers have grown immune to charitable tugs on their heartstrings and wallets. It is a result of more charities calling for their support and greater awareness – and acceptance of – the issues they represent. Faced with more competition, NSPCC realised they needed powerful marketing. But with limited budgets, few could spend more. The solution was obvious. Why not increase the power of imagery used in their ads instead? This campaign was not about raising profit or funds, the NSPCC’s aim was to produce awareness of child abuse issues. Although there are no definite figures to prove that this campaign has reduced the amount of child abuse, they continue to be made as a form of communicating with the public and raising awareness.

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