How effective is the Barnardos Kim Vale advertisement?

Barnardo’s is a British children’s charity founded by the Irish doctor Thomas John Barnardo in 1866. This particular advertisement was published to increase public awareness and to raise money for young children who have been abused and abandoned through such things as prostitution and effectively give them back their future which the slogan states. Mainly aimed at an older and high earning audience as it was published in broadsheet magazines in addition to dealing with an adult subject matter, Prostitution. It was printed in ‘The Big Issue’ subsequently they were more likely to reach people already prepared to make a charitable donation.This hidden message in the advertisements image can be seen as ‘secretly shocking’ or even disturbing to some. The situation presenting in this picture is a night scene in a run down neglected area, a young girl stands in the centre of the image, glaring into, what looks to be somebody soliciting her into a car but no one is shown in the car as it has been cropped half way, there are also two much older women standing on the street pavement on either side of the photograph dressed and standing provocatively.One of the main things that made the ‘Kim Vale’ advertisement so effective is the image.

The picture covers up the whole advertisement space whilst the text is placed on the bottom right hand corner so doesn’t detract from the significant imaging, therefore this shows how crucial it is to the campaign. The little girl standing on the street is presented in a bright white colour which stands out above all the other colour on the page, which will attracted the viewers to look at the image of her first.She is dressed in a short dress and sandals which some viewers may pick on the impropriety of her wearing that sort of clothing in the time of day and weather shown on the image therefore causing concern which would be a key element Barnardo’s would be after. The child’s posture is shown with her arms behind her back suggesting her vulnerability and exposure to everything around her and as well she slants to some extent this shows her hesitancy, all there factors will give the viewer of the advertisement an emotional attachment to the young girl as they feel sympathy towards her in such a alienated, vulnerable atmosphere.

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The small girl also looks helplessly into the car where the door is left wide open to imply someone is inviting her into the vehicle. The angle of the picture is on a slight tilt, indicating that the car is luring the little child over and dominates over her. More defenceless and vulnerability is created, again making the viewers more attached as well as worried for her well being.

The car has been cropped intentionally so there is no visual image of somebody in the vehicle, consequently creating the image to seem more ominous and threatening. It allows the viewers to use there imagination which can generate anxious feelings as the fear of the unknown can be daunting. It then raises questions, knowing that they don’t know what’s going to happen to her, and drives them to find out more.