Watching TV last night I saw that ad for mouthwash Corsodyl again. If you've not seen it a model looking in the mirror starts bleeding from her eye. She then spits a mouthful of bloody toothpaste into the sink and we are told that this can be an early sign of gum disease. Mouthwash can help alleviate this.
It is an unpleasant subject and on first watch the ad can seem quite shocking. It's effective I think, but reminded me of a conversation I had had about the use by charities of overly depressing stats and photos of people and animals suffering.
More successful comms campaigns for charities tend to be 'emotionally positive' - about the differences your donation can make to ameliorating a situation. If you make people feel bad, you get their attention, but they may not contribute as they feel it's likley that a little amount won't make a difference.
In B2B communications we often focus on features and benefits, we tend much more towards the emotionally postitive route - what difference a product or service can make to how a business runs efficiently or a project is completed effectively.
But what if you are dealing with a Health & Safety in the workplace issue perhaps - you need to grab people's attention? I've seen some gruesome pictures for these too, but one of the best industry campaigns I have seen on this theme uses a powerful strapline along the lines of "because even one accident is too many". Even one accident matters, you can make a difference therefore... simple, but effective? Has anyone else come across something similar?