Back on subject, let’s do some ‘persuasion’!

Like always, a terrible pun to start my new project. As the title hints, I’m back in the office with my fellow graphic designers to start our new project ‘Persuasion’. For this project we need to pick a cause, something we truly believe in; “a piece in the puzzle of the world we’d like to change” and find a client, an organisation which works towards this cause and work with them by creating relevant promotional material to raise awareness, influence, provoke, convince, inform or perhaps, inspire users to actively contribute towards our goals!

For this task I have chosen to help raise awareness for anxiety, depression and generally mental health issues. Anxiety has had a great deal of impact on my life and has lead to extended periods of depression over the last couple of years and although something I’m still learning to control, I feel it’d be a great injustice if I didn’t use my talents to create a positive contribution towards it. I hope through this process I can prompt others to get the help they need as I once sort out, and help work towards removing the sigma of mental help; and hey, I might learn a little about myself and come out stronger because of it!

Pyramid of Marlow's Hierarchy of Needs

Pyramid of “Marlow’s Hierarchy of Needs”

Today we were also introduced to “Maslow’s Hierachy of Needs”, a theory that states before higher needs can be fulfilled a list of more basic needs must be satisfied first. This fascinates me greatly and although I don’t fully agree with it, from a designers stand point can be used to greatly increase our audiences level of engagement with our work (and when done right, they won’t even be aware of it).

To practise this theory, my class analysed an advertisement by Volkswagen called “The Force” which pictures a typical middle class white family in a secure neighbour with a child, dressed up as Darth Vador playfully navigating the house trying to use the ‘force’ to move things around the house; when his father returns in his Volkswagen car, the child attempts to use the force on the car with the father jokingly ‘locking up’ the car. To bullet point some notable points from the ad:

  • The ad subtly presents the mother sighing when passing her child his sandwich giving the impression of a flawed family which could exist in the real world, therefore more relatable to the audience.
  • It specifically targets middle aged family men by presenting an ideal nuclear family; on Marlow’s Scale targeting sections “Love/Belonging” and “Esteem”.
  • Using the nostalgia of Star Wars immediately hooks the audience in with something we’re all very familiar within pop-culture, from the presentation of the music, some scenes are shot very reminiscent to the films (e.g. intro) and of course, the cutesy nature of the child cos-playing as Darth Vador trying to use the “force” on the household objects.
  • Humour is also used to create a memorable experience from the innocence of the child playing as Darth Vador around the house to the last ending gag where the father “locks” the car to make his son believe he used the force to lock it.

This exercise got me thinking “What type of need will my campaign satisfy?” and the question of “Who is my audience?”.


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