In India, Bangalore Traffic Police has been running an outdoor advertising campaign using disturbing photography to shock individuals who are driving while talking to their friends or families on the phone (Halvadia, Patel and Patel, 2011).
Using fear or other strong messages might not always be the best and most effective method to use. Sometime people ignore shocking ads as they assume that it is not directed to them (Halvadia, Patel and Patel, 2011).
Many critics have made aware that the use of fear-inducing shock advertisements can produce extreme levels of apprehension that may constitute a threat to the psychological well-being of the message recipient. Advertisement research that have been done in the past on fear appeals has proposed that when the intensity of the message is greater than thresholds of severity, the message recipient most often develops an avoidance response that restricts the persuasive impact of the appeal (Moore and Harris, 1996).
Halvadia, N., Patel, V., & Patel, S. (2011). Shock advertising and its impact. International journal of sales and marketing management, 1, 30-36.
Moore, D. J., & Harris, W., D. (1996). Affect intensity and the consumer’s attitude toward high impact emotional advertising appeals. Journal of advertising, 25, 37-50.