If you have to use force…

“If you have to use force” reads an print ad by South African agency Lowe Bull, “then it is rape”.

I found this ad purely by accident, but that is one of the things I like best about advertising- when it finds you.

Frankly I was a bit shocked, but then that is the campaign working. The whole campaign, from the pages sealed together to be torn open to reveal a rather graphic picture, is designed to surprise and make a big enough impact for startled bloggers to grab their keyboards. For an advert produced in 2003 for POWA (People Opposing Women Abuse) and strategically placed in a men’s magazine, this strikes me as rather progressive, that or recent ads have misplaced this shock factor, as I have not felt this affected by an advert for a long time. 

Additionally, the play with the use of force to refer to two movements (I think you know what I mean), is just too clever for words, and I am slightly saddened that I have not seen any recent examples of pages being stuck together since, with the use of glue in magazines disappointingly relegated to sticking in freebies and perfume scents. A recycling/reinvention challenge if ever there was one.


4 responses to “If you have to use force…

  1. Stopped by to see how you were doing. I have always been fascinated by advertising. I had a friend once in the ad world, and he told me that it pays to have a degree in psycology. He said you have to be an expert on the human mind, what people think, and how their thought processes work in order to advertise to them. Is that true? The ad above is certaintly clever, shocking, and thought provoking, all at once.

    • Knowing what people think really helps as you need to understand why a customer might one product over another, or how best to appeal to your target audience. I’m reading this really interesting book at the moment called “Buyology” and it looks at neuromarketing and how brains respond to different products. It found that anti-smoking campaigns actually encourage smokers to continue smoking; and that people prefer coke to pepsi not because of the taste, but because they feel more emotionally connected to the brand. It made good reading on the train!

  2. This is a horrible ad. Force it open and the guys get a shot of a woman with legs spread all ready to get them off. I am not surprised at all that an advertising agency of men came up with this one.

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