Parry, Jones, Stern and Robinson (2013) carried out a qualitative study that compared participant’s reactions towards shock advertising in for-profit (FP) and non-for profit (NFP) organisations. Researchers decided to use focus groups in order to facilitate debates, opinions and discussions centred on the content of the images. 12 billboard advertisements were selected based on their shock ability (which consisted of sexual, violence, vulgar and offensive content) and shown to participants on printed sheets, one at a time. All discussions were recorded and transcribed; in addition to this researchers provided summaries of participants physical reactions to the images. As the data collected was qualitative, below are some direct quotes from participants on the images they found most shocking.
Anti-verbal abuse (NFP)
“the message is clear, so spot on so y’know its yeah shocking but its much better than any words, this picture shows it for what it is” (Participant E)
“You couldn’t just look at this picture and go, oh yes that’s smoking, I’ll stop smoking now” (Participant Q)
“it appeal to your morals… if you logically think it through and come to a conclusion yourself that it’s a bad thing, then you should give money morally” (Participant N)
“Oh God, this is just too much” (Participant E)
Parry, S., Jones, R., Stern, P., & Robinson, M. (2013). ‘Shockvertising’: An exploratory investigation into attitudinal variations and emotional reactions to shock advertising. Joural of Consumer Behaviour, 12, 112-121