Print and Digital Ads on Mental Health Implications of Social Media

Individuals, organizations, and government agencies create ads for various purposes based on what they seek to accomplish. Business organizations may use ads to create consumer awareness of the presence of their products in the market. Politicians may also resort to using ads to advance a particular political agenda. Similarly, government agencies may create advertisements for consumer awareness about specific services. Often, governmental and non-governmental organizations concerned with public welfare advertise their services through digital and print media to reach the widest audience possible. With rising concerns about the mental health implications of social media obsession, individuals and societies are now organizing public awareness seminars. These seminars must be advertised through various platforms for the certainty that the message reaches the targeted group. A critical review of the ad in Image 1 shows that advertisers may use a combination of cues to pass a particular message and persuade the audience.

The ad, sponsored by Elmhurst State Representative Deanne Mazzochi, was meant to inform the public about a panel discussion forum in which professional experts would talk about the impact of social media use on teenagers’ mental health. Notably, the advert contains all necessary information, such as the details of the venue, date, and charges. The ad was created in the digital form for the certainty that it could be shared widely through social media networks. However, media companies could publish it in their dailies, particularly those meant for sale in the Westmont area and neighboring regions. Essentially, the ad advances the argument that everyone in society should be concerned about the mental health implications of obsession and the excessive use of social media.

The advertisement includes images of two males and two females glued to their phones. This image symbolizes how people are becoming increasingly obsessed with smartphones through which they access social media networks. The four persons captured in the image do not seem mindful of anything else other than their phones. They are not interested in each other, which is a major social effect of social media. Immediate to the image is the caption that reads, “Social media and teen mental health,” which is written in capital letters. The text is strategically phrased and positioned after the image to give the audience a glimpse of the psychological implications of excessive social media use. Images of popular social media logos are placed to the left of the caption to make the audience understand that the ad is about popular digital social networks.

The choice of tone used in the ad arouses curiosity among the audience because it leaves one wanting to explore more about the link between social media and mental health. The tone is largely inviting since that is what the advert is meant to do. Quesenberry (2020) posits that marketers and advertisers choose a particular tone depending on the target audience’s characteristics and the ad’s intended purpose. The ad designer included a picture of people concentrating on their phones to show some social media effects. The ad also includes the phrase “social media and teen mental health” in large capital letters, which could be interpreted as being aggressive. The incorporation of a more detailed message in smaller fonts explaining the focus of the seminar neutralizes the aggressive tone and invites the audience to attend. Hence, the designer was keen to incorporate the correct tone in the ad, as it is critical for the certainty of persuading the audience to attend the event.

Advertisements carry more information than the message meant to persuade the target audience. Usually, the additional information is used to trigger a particular feeling or arouse a certain conscience, which sets the stage for persuasion and appeal (Quesenberry, 2020). The phrase “social media and teen mental health” in the selected ad is used representatively, although with the sole intention of provoking the audience’s thoughts about the topic. Essentially, the ad makes the argument that all people are subject to the residual effects of obsession with online communication platforms. Although, it is shown with a greater emphasis on teens’ mental health in a bid to show the importance of the seminar. Teenagers and young adults are important groups whose welfare should be the interest and concern of the entire community. Anything affecting the young generation’s welfare requires quick attention to safeguard the community’s future. Hence, teens, parents, and teachers are all invited to the panel discussion.

Advertisers use ethos, pathos, and logos to appeal to their target audience. Quesenberry (2020) asserts that the ethos approach relies on the author’s credibility to convince people to make a particular decision. However, using pathos involves making an emotional appeal, whereas logos refer to a logical appeal approach. The selected advert uses a combination of ethos and logos to persuade parents and teenagers to attend the seminar. Particularly, the inclusion of the professional panelists’ names and their titles in the advert amounts to the use of ethos. The audience is convinced that the host team has the expertise and experience needed to give professional advice on the topic. Nevertheless, the message that anyone can be a victim of mental health problems associated with social media amounts to the use of logos. The audience is prompted to think about how the unchecked use of digital communication platforms could affect their psychological wellbeing. The use of these appeals helps in convincing the audience to attend the panel discussion.

In overview, the selected advert supports the argument that society is exposed to the risk of mental health problems due to excessive exposure to social media. The ad design advances through a combination of several approaches. First, the ad induces a sense of concern for teenagers’ welfare by having the picture of youngsters engrossed in their mobile phones. The audience develops an interest in the ad due to the desire to know how social media could affect one’s mental health. Second, the inclusion of the phrase “social media and teen mental health” in large capital letters serves as an emphasis on the argument, which is then augmented with a detailed explanatory paragraph immediately after the caption. Third, the ad succeeds in making the intended argument through the combination of ethos and logos, which leaves the audience persuaded to attend the discussion panel.

References

Mazzochi, D. (2019). Rep. Mazzochi Hosting social media and mental health forum. Patch. Web.

Quesenberry, K. A. (2018). Social media strategy: Marketing, advertising, and public relations in the consumer revolution ( 2nd ed.). Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.

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