UNICEF is running an advertising campaign to save children across the world from hunger, exploitation, child labour and saving them from being sexually abused (UNICEF, 2). This paper will briefly discuss the concept of attention as used in the Save the Children Ad campaign run by UNICEF.
It will also show how the initial attention is used to produce an action from the viewer. According to Blythe (36), in consumer behaviour theory, attention refers to the selective attention and reading of messages that suits the consumer. An advertisement will have a number of messages, some intended and some unintended.
Consumers may focus and concentrate their attention on certain aspects of the Ad while missing or ignoring the main intended message. Advertisers try to minimise this drift of the attention focus and attract visitors and attempt to get them to react. Good Goes is a registered body that performs childcare programs on behalf of UNICEF. This organisation is running a number of Ad campaigns (Good Goes, 1).
The arrangement of the Ads is as a horizontal slide show, placed horizontally across the web page. The advertiser has skilfully used images of some good-looking children along with some destitute ones. All efforts are taken to represent children from different ethnic origins such as Black, Asian, White and Chinese.
The gallery of the slide show gives the image of the child and one can click on the image to view some more details. The images are kept clean and bright and the text is brief and concise without overburdening the reader. The Ads also do not feature dirty looking or obviously sick looking. The reader is at once influenced by the children and would want people to react immediately (Good Goes, 1).
After getting the attention of the reader, consumer behaviour theory suggests that the respondent must ponder, think, weigh the advantages and disadvantages and decide to make a purchase decision. In some cases, the decision to buy a product, subscribe for a service or donate for a cause can be impulsive. In many cases, the advertiser would want to encourage impulsive buying.
The advertisements from UNICEF also want to encourage this impulsive reaction from the customer. The main intention of the Ads is to increase awareness of the cause of children and to obtain the attention of the reader. Once the reader has viewed the details and given his attention, the next reaction would be to take action. There are different ways in which the viewer can be involved (Good Goes, 1), (Blythe, 42).
The ways are to support the cause, to give or donate funds, to join the program and to advocate the cause of the organisation. The main Ads are a continuation of the theme of helping to save and protect children. The Ad is termed successful only after the viewer has turned his attention to action.
Support can be in the form of training local health staff so that they can provide care for children and the mother. The action of Give is to donate and help the newborn. There are a number of child survival programs where the viewer can donate money. The next action is to ‘Join’ the activity and campaign. The last action is to become an advocate of the campaign and carry out voluntary work.
The above paragraphs have shown how attention feature from consumer behaviour theory can be applied to the UNICEF Ads. The Ads have succeeded in grabbing the attention of the viewer. They have also succeeded in making the viewer take one of the required set of actions.
Blythe. Jim. Essentials of Marketing Communication, 3rd edition. Pearson Education, UK. December 2005.
Good Goes. Save the Children: New born & child survival campaign. 2011. Good Goes. 22 April 2011.
UNICEF. “UNICEF statement on UNHCR-Save the Children report”. 2011. United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund. 22 April 2011.