Shock for Effect?

8 04 2009

I came across a series of these rather graphic ads while working on my Info Hell paper on AIDS funding.  The caption for the ad is “Only 0.003 mm of latex lie between life and death.”
These ads, run by German Wimbeldon star Michael Stich as part of an AIDS awareness campaign, have stirred controversy among many, causing them to question “how far is too far?” in advertising.  Personally, I find the ads striking and rather startling, but also creative and very “to the point.”  I think that focused in the right venues, for the right audiences (excluding elementary-middle school-aged children) they could be a positive message in the fight against AIDS.  There is definitely an aspect of the “affective” strategy in use in this campaign, and after seeing these ads, you won’t soon forget them.  The caption and message of the ad is also very powerful, and is a great play on words with the gun and life and death concept.
If you would like to see more of these ads, visit:,1518,474858,00.html





One response

8 04 2009
Jon Steinberg

I feel that this ad really crosses the line. I know that shock advertisement gets alot of press and creates awareness, but this campaign goes way beyond what is socially acceptable. With this type of ad you risk getting alot of negative press, but i guess they still win because we’re talking about it. I guess P.T. Barnum is right, “Any press is good press.”

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