Health Advertisements: “Open Your Eyes to Saturated Fat”

This advertisement presents a surprising image for the viewer depending upon how they first view it. At first glance, it can either appear to be a large mousetrap complete with a plate of appetizing cheese or it can be seen as a rustic dining table and chairs set with an appetizing plate of cheese as well as a suspicious metallic contraption. This is in keeping with generalization 13 by utilizing “educational messages in entertainment contexts.” The surprising nature of the image is brought into focus with the accompanying text, “Open your eyes to saturated fat” (World Heart Federation, 2008). The two words ‘saturated fat’ is much larger than any of the other text on the page, facilitating an instant link between the concept of saturated fat and the dismal end of a mouse caught in a mousetrap. While somewhat humorous, the image is disconcerting as one contemplates the kind of animal that would be caught in this trap, and people begin to make connections with the way they sometimes feel about their food or weight. Thus, this advertisement strives to “carefully target or segment the audience that the campaign is intended to reach” (generalization 3). The end message is one of warning and encouragement for smarter decisions rather than an insistence to rush out and buy a product. Although it seems to violate generalization 7, “campaigns are more effective if they emphasize current rewards rather than the avoidance of distant negative consequences,” the point of the campaign is to encourage people to push away from the table. By coupling the frightening thought of the mousetrap with the humorous table-sized trap, the campaign attempts to reduce the anxiety created.

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