To answer this question, it is important to examine how seeing such an advert makes you feel personally - what kind of a response does it evoke?
The results above shows the mean responses of the participants. When the participants were asked to make phone calls to save Redwood trees, variables such as the presence of the experimenter (E present or E not present) and the socioeconomic status of the person making the request (high or low) did not have any significant effects on the participant compliance rates. Participants who believed that they had shocked the learner went on to be significantly more compliant than those who were in the control condition; whilst 75% of participants in the experimental condition complied, only 25% of participants in the control condition complied. These results have also been replicated by Konecni (1972) as part of a filed experiment, who further found that the relationship between guilt and compliance (helping behaviour) is a significant.
Personally, I found this campaign unusually interesting because it does not focus merely on the plight of those who live in poverty; the main focus is the contrast between the needs of the viewer and the needs of the villager. The advert is very direct and explicit in conveying its message; it draws a daring comparison between designer items and basic human needs, such as access to clean water. Ultimately, it effectively leads the viewer to question their priorities and makes them feel guilty about their own spending habits. The effectiveness of this campaign is therefore that it uses guilt to personally engage with the audience and subsequently offers them a way to feel better and get rid of this displeasing emotion; by donating to their worthy cause.
Carlsmith, J. M., & Gross, A. E. (1969). Some effects of guilt on compliance. Journal of personality and social psychology, 11(3), 232.
Konecni, V. J. (1972). Some effects of guilt on compliance: a field replication. Journal of personality and social psychology, 23(1), 30-32.