Explosive development witnessed since the Industrial Revolution made human life easier but more dangerous due to the industry’s impact on the condition of the natural environment and, as a result, the welfare of human civilization. The ad shown above is a perfect example of growing environmental concerns and the promotion of green consciousness around the globe. Deforestation and negative influence on nature are ominous outcomes of civilization development because people themselves endanger their future. The primary goal behind designing this ad is to bring awareness to the risks of changing the planet and wasting natural resources. The intended audience is every member of human society because the joint effort is the only way to prevent an upcoming disaster. This paper aims at analyzing the ad and speculating on the effectiveness of design decisions. This goal will be achieved by taking a closer look at four aspects of the picture – overall atmosphere, colors, items, and text.
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The first aspect is the overall mood created by the ad. The design decisions are appropriate because they hint that nature is the foundation of everything, and affecting it can be irreversible. The picture evokes a feeling of the severity of the problem hidden behind the image. In fact, it is one of the ad tricks intended to initiate a thinking process because it stimulates negative emotions and calls to action (Batra, Myers, and Aaker 301). It is shown that the nature portrayed via a single tree below is overburdened with civilization. A similar depiction stirs up the desire to change the established state of things and improve it. Another detail worthy of attention is a thin tree trunk. The author of the ad highlights that nature is strong, but its resources and strength are not unlimited and could be exhausted one day.
The second aspect under consideration is color choice. It can be used either for creating the needed mood or grabbing attention (Armstrong). In this case, the focus is made on dark colors and cloudy background. It directs the thought process to acknowledge that the modern civilization is gray and its future is cloudy. There is no better way to develop this idea than by choosing flat tints. I also love the trick with the changing color and intensity of the cloudy sky, making it darker close to the cities and lighter near to the tree, animals, and mountains in the right corner. I believe this decision is effective because it hints that higher levels of civilization development entail higher risks and greater burden on nature. Moreover, the emphasis is made on decreasing the amount of greenery, suggesting deforestation. Altogether, these design decisions add to creating the needed mood and starting the thinking process.
Another aspect of the analysis is the choice of items shown in the ad. I see it as one of the most paramount design decisions. The order of the depicted elements suggests that trees and animals are the first victims of human civilization development and accelerated industrial progress. I believe it is so because they are drawn at the bottom, holding buildings and people. In addition to it, the edifices are displayed over fields and forests. It points to the fact that civilization destroys nature. Finally, the author illustrates the most famous constructions of different cities, hinting that industrial development influenced all parts of the globe and affected all cultures. This detail can be viewed from another perspective. Because the evolution of civilization is universal for all parts of the world, it can serve as a link to unite all people and deal with the problem of the natural environment deterioration. They are making joint efforts to save the tree and animals depicted as the foundation would save the planet.
The last aspect of the evaluation is text. The phrase is written in Spanish. It stands for the following, “If the tree falls, we all fall” (Esperida par. 18). Even though the text is short, it is relevant and does not distract attention from the whole picture. In fact, it is better to keep the text short (Torresi 145) because not all ads need messages to communicate the information. In this case, invoking the desire to process the phrase is not one of the ad’s goals because it focuses on stimulating emotions and feelings. Still, the mentioned message is persuasive because it is backed up with the correctly chosen items and colors. Altogether, they add to the creation of the needed atmosphere and changing the attitude towards the impact of civilization on the natural environment (Fennis and Stroebe 176).
Another detail worthy of attention when speaking of the text is the logo located in the right corner of the ad. WWF stands for the World Wide Fund for Nature. This non-governmental organization was created with the aim of reducing the impact of humanity on the natural environment and decreasing the risks of destroying nature. It is the logos appeal, i.e., the proof often represented by including organizations’ logotypes, as the invocation to reason (Blakesley and Hoogeveen 82). It points that influential organizations are concerned with the future of humankind and the planet. So, people should also make efforts to save the tree.
In addition to logos, it is paramount to consider other elements of rhetoric. For example, pathos, i.e., the appeal to emotion (Blakesley and Hoogeveen 11), is at play within picturing environment’s overloading because it prompts that adding one more item might ruin the reached balance and make the tree break and fall down. Furthermore, it is exercised in the choice of colors and items. They initiate the necessary thinking and call to action, especially the hint at the fact that industrial progress and civilization development are uniting people, and keeping up the present pace of development would lead to the cloudy future. Finally, ethos, i.e., the author’s perception of the situation used to appeal to the audience, is seen through logos. Because the World Wide Fund for Nature aims at preserving nature and decreasing the devastating impact of humanity, its attitude toward the issue is easily seen in this ad. The logo might be interpreted as the signature and signal that the poster is the organization’s view on the current state of affairs. It means that all three constituents of rhetoric are present. So, the ad is effective when it comes to analyzing it from the perspective of appealing to wide audiences. Also, it is persuasive because of using visual arguments.
In conclusion, I want to say that this ad is a masterpiece. It is balanced, and all design decisions are appropriate and effective. Still, I would propose some insignificant changes. For example, I would add the second line with the phrase written in English in order to avoid the necessity of translating it. Moreover, I think making the text brighter would turn it more appealing because the black font does not carry out this function, as it is unnoticeable. Even though the phrase is not central in the ad, the mentioned alterations would benefit the communication of the message because it would be more apparent and cover a wider audience. In addition to changing the text, I would add some other types of transportation. Except for the cars, I would want to illustrate several airplanes and ships because their impact on the natural environment is also significant. This decision would supplement the ad design bringing in more logic, reasoning, and attention to detail. Finally, I would draw some small clouds of dark industrial mist over cities to complement the picture and increase its persuasiveness.
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Batra, Rajeev, John G. Myers, and David A. Aaker. Advertising Marketing, Delhi, India: Dorling Kindersley, 2006. Print.
Blakesley, David, and Jeffrey L. Hoogeveen. Writing: A Manual for the Digital Age, Brief. Boston, Massachusetts: Cengage Learning, 2012. Print.
Esperida, Joan. 30 Powerful and Compelling Public Awareness Print Ads. 2010. Web.
Fennis, Bob M., and Wolfgang Stroebe. The Psychology of Advertising, Abington, England: Routledge, 2016. Print.
Torresi, Ira. Translating Promotional and Advertising Texts. Abington, England: Routledge, 2010. Print.