Who says advertisements need special effects and flashy graphics? Messages are still effective when completed in simplicity.
Who says advertisements need sets, scripts, and staff to tell a story? Messages can be as real as an advertisement done to advocate for British road safety.
The ad is a combination of crash footage from David Holmes’ motorcycle accident and an interview post-accident with Holmes’ mother. This advertisement takes real people and their story. The realness creates a sense of connection much deeper than any fictional story can.
Audiences can see the emotion from Holmes’ mother as she remembers the life of her son. You can also see her bravery in telling such a difficult time of her life. Anyone can relate to the emotions she conveys. In addition, anyone can connect to her life story. What happened to her can also happen to anyone, or someone is experiencing a very similar situation to hers. There are people in the world affected by motor accidents and poor actions taken on the road.
Also, the video of Holmes’ accident – something real that happened to an actual person, not an actor – makes you think, “This can happen to me? This can happen to someone I love? Even to someone I just simply know. This can happen to anyone.”
Advertisements can incorporate real life stories, which are not limited to documentaries or movies. In a sense, advertisements are actually extremely short movies that highlight a product, service, or culture. Advertisements persuade people to take some form of action. This ad for British road safety does accomplish that.
On the other hand, using real life stories can be overwhelming for audiences. The footage of Holmes’ accident isn’t has graphic as other accidents, for example. However, there still needs to be a boundary in how far advertisements can use the lives and stories of actual people. For example, if the footage of the accident were extremely graphic, I think that could cross the line in what is appropriate to incorporate into ads.
Kiefaber, D. (n.d.). Safe-Driving Ad Uses Real Footage of Fatal Accident From Motorcyclist’s GoPro Camera. Retrieved October 16, 2014, from http://www.adweek.com/adfreak/safe-driving-ad-uses-real-footage-fatal-accident-motorcyclists-gopro-camera-160778