The print is white on black and then black on white that makes the headings jump out at the reader. This question makes us feel guilty as we put all our minor problems into perspective, our worries seem very trivial compared with those of the MS sufferers.
Next comes a series of diary entries taken randomly from a typical month in the life of this man. The dates and symptoms are underlined so immediately our focus is switched to them and we can see there is no structured pattern, if we care to read on there are consequences to these symptoms.The first underlined comment makes us wonder how the symptoms affect the man, those people around him and his job, the first diary entry reads, “Monday 3rd: I woke up partially blind. I knew the blindness wasn’t permanent but the fear of never knowing when I’d see again was difficult to control”, This is very clever of the advertiser, as the reader of the newspaper can immediately have something to relate to, people who buy the newspaper obviously enjoy reading and it makes them wonder what it would be like not to be able to read, not to be able to see. Being in the format of a diary we feel like we are intruding on someone’s personal life, the writing is on the mans forehead, on his mind, this makes us feel like were reading his innermost thoughts we feel almost voyeuristic.”Wednesday 14th: Last night I couldn’t have sex.
My girlfriends very understanding but what if it goes on for weeks”, Here we see the worry, panic and alarm the disease causes the sufferer, how they can never plan ahead or get on with their lives, the disease is always there, a constant hindrance, we also wonder what stresses and strains it may place on the sufferers relationships with others and how it isn’t only the person with MS who feels the effects.”The day was going well until I wet myself”, He uses blunt colloquial language which makes us a little amused, it is odd to think a grown man would be capable of such a childish act but immediately we imagine the great indignity that must have been involved and how the sufferer must feel helpless, devoid of all control. In this advert we learn how sufferers are powerless and have no control over anything, not their job, lifestyle or relationships.We learn the man has a social life but MS also gets in the way of him enjoying himself, “My legs packed up in the cinema this afternoon. If my mate hadn’t have been there to help id probably still be there ready for the evening show”, Again the advert uses humour to make the situation less embarrassing, he almost tries to laugh it off which suggests that things like this happen all the time and are a regular occurrence. It also suggests one must have a good sense of humour and a very strong personality to be able to cope with the disease successfully.
At the bottom of the picture is yet another rhetorical question, “Still having a bad day”, The answer almost certainly must be no. The lettering is not as large as the other question but it is still obtains the readers attention, it is in white bold print on a black background. It makes the reader feel incredibly guilty, our problems seem miniscule and inconsequential compared to this mans daily toil. The question makes us look inward at ourselves and our own lives and helps change our outlook.The picture has the same creases as the first and the advertiser uses the same unavoidable gaze, it is almost as if the photo has been folded away in a drawer and forgotten about, but the sufferers will not let themselves or their disease be forgotten about. The logo also has the same logo as the other and at the bottom in the same small print and format are the details of the charity.
This advert like the one before is promoting awareness and not asking for money primarily, if the reader wished to learn more about the disease it may require a further donation.The third and final advert is in exactly the same format as the second. Although this time there is a strong emphasis on the unpredictable nature of the disease, this is because it is the third and final installment in this trilogy of adverts. In the other two adverts we are first introduced to the disease and its symptoms and then made aware of the consequences.
By the time we read this last advert were fully aware and clued up on MS, so now we can put ourselves in the place of a sufferer and we can almost see the world through their eyes.Again the headline is in large bold font and to make it stand out it is white on black, “I used to wish my life Wasn’t so predictable” Immediately we can relate to her as it is a common feeling but in the context of this advert it makes us think we take our stability for granted. We should be grateful to have a routine. Under the white writing are the words, “Now if only it was”, Its as if the woman regrets wasting time wishing she had a less predictable life when she should have been grateful for the life she led.We learn how an MS sufferer longs for the everyday routine and predictability we all take for granted.
We understand the woman in the picture used to be like us, yearning for a change in our boring lives but we should be grateful for our good health. The advertiser has again used the direct gaze of the picture and the creased look. The ladies large sad eyes almost plead with the reader and we feel a pang of empathy for the sufferer.
In one of the diary entries we hear how even when a victim of MS has a good day things soon change and everyday activities that we take for granted have serious repercussions, “I felt really good this morning. I went for a long walk during my lunch break, I got so exhausted I had to take the day off work to recover”. Even when she feels good and tries to be normal for just one day it backfires and has serious repercussions. We also wonder how a sufferer manages to hold down a job, each day there may be something different wrong with them which makes us wonder how their employers can rely on them.
There must also be a world of scepticism that the sufferer must face every day, hopefully these adverts also teach people not to be too sceptical and realize how helpless the sufferer actually is.The advert is also slightly comical, like the previous one. The woman tells the reader how she falls over a dustbin on her way to work and fell flat on her face, a consequence of having blurred vision, it is quite comical but we can imagine how humiliating that must have been and that the consequences of MS must cause some huge embarrassments. Another consequence in this advert and the last is slurred speech, leading people to believe the sufferer is drunk, this must have potentially disastrous consequences for the persons job and social life and must be very embarrassing. This advert also has the small print and the logo that seems to be common to all the adverts.All three adverts are very effective in conveying their message of the MS society. Each of the adverts plays heavily on the readers conscience making us think our problems are insignificant compared to the perpetual problems faced by the victim of MS. We learn how they yearn for stability and a predictable life, things we all take for granted.
MS sufferers wake up every morning not knowing what’s instore for them and what symptoms they will have to endure, we also can imagine the profuse effect the disease has on the whole lifestyle of the victim, their jobs, loved ones and social life. After reading and studying the adverts I now know much more about the disease, I feel much less ignorant and the adverts have had the desired effect. By reading the adverts I can empathize with sufferers because they’re normal people just like you or I, the adverts are extremely effective in promoting awareness.