Type ‘Controversial Advertisements’ into Google images. Go on, do it.
Witness the thousands of controversial images laid out on that screen, ranging from allusions to domestic violence, blatant racism, objection of women, animal cruelty, and so on and so forth.
The fact that Google images is only scratching the surface to the abundance of offensive, borderline abusive advertisements is enough to leave me speechless.
I can’t even imagine what’s going through the advertisers’ head’s as they sift through their repertoire of twisted taglines pair with equally disgusting images. I understand why they do it, to get the people talking about their product, their brand. I don’t know about you but it doesn’t make me want to buy their product, if anything I want to stay as far away from it as possible. Why build a reputation based on unethical, offensive thought processes? I guess that’s just not my taste.
After scrolling through, I found one image that particularly irked me.
Not because it is too controversial (which is debatable) but because I’m very passionate about the topic of gun control. I’ll try not to get too fired up about it right now.
The signifier in this image is the two children hold these contrasting items side-by-side, which is supposed to convey the ridiculousness of the significantly less dangerous object being banned, as guns obviously cause a lot more harm than dodgeballs.
Due to my ideologies being 100% for gun control, as I’ve grown up in a country where it’s existed for a majority of my life, my connotation of the image is, “Why on earth is the game dodgeball banned when it’s so obvious that guns are a huge issue in the U.S.?”
The other images in the series of advertisements continue to make me think as such. Find more here.
A bottle of wine? Really?
This only fuels my opinion that the idea of guns for protection is completely absurd. Yet to someone whose grown up in an environment with opposing ideals, this idea is completely justified. For a majority of the U.S., guns have provided a sense of comfort and protection for a long time. This image would have a completely different impact on those people, perhaps they think that these products shouldn’t be compared.
Everyone has different opinions on how the world should be. Although these opposing ideologies can be frustrating, these confronting media texts could allow audiences to open up a dialogue and contribute to the variety of discussions used to expose and address the worlds social and political issues together.
Let’s just hope that this advertisement puts gun control into perspective for those who disagree.