the unwavering gaze that makes you give

It’s always nice when something you’ve done crops up on You Tube, like this direct response TV (DRTV) advert for The Blue Cross, put there in time for Christmas. Direct response ads are so called because they have telephone numbers in them. So, with luck, the viewer will seize the phone and dial – full of the intention to give.

You’ll notice that the dog in this piece looks pleadingly directly at you most of the time. Many other DRTV ads use this technique, especially those for charities that help children. In theory it makes it harder to look away and disengage.

There is a fine line with DRTV. Some TV executions become so emotive, that people are paralysed by what they are watching. After all, the idea is to make them pick up the phone not stun them with misery, and this can be a fine line.

By Peter Kenny

I lead a double life. Identity #1. A writer of poems, comedy plays, dark fiction and the odd libretto. Identity #2: A marketing outlier, working with London creative agencies and my own clients as a copywriter and creative consultant.

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