Shock Tactics: Advertising Creativity and Originality

The prevalence and exhaustive use of advertising in all media platforms, has meant that the issue of clutter is one that needs to be overcome far more urgently. One respondent noted that there is a lack of uniqueness and a greater amount of replication of advertisements;

‘Yea generally I find a lot of advertising gets very repetitive and I would find it goes in cycles where you might see one very unique ad and over the space of a year you would probably see three or four ads that are very similar to it.’

Advertising is by its very nature dynamic and is in a constant state of change. We are in the ‘era of sharing’ and advertising is a far more accessible form of entertainment, further extenuating the need for originality and creativity. The respondents’ viewpoints also point to a relatively new consumer habit that has emerged; people will only pass on advertisements via social networks and email that they think will be deemed as being perceived as creative, different and original by the recipient. People will use a creative advertisement as an expression of themselves by sending it to their friends or an evolution of technological sorts of ‘the extended self.’ Technological advancements can be seen as a contributor in the demise of traditional advertising, suggesting that there may be a greater urgency among advertisers to come up with more creative and original advertisements. In discussing the effectiveness of shock advertisements, it is apparent that originality in advertisements is a fundamental reason for an advertisement to be deemed effective. It is seen as a socially accepted method for advertisers to employ in executing creativity and originality.


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