Analysis of a charity appeal Essay

In deconstructing the “World Wide Fund For Nature” leaflet, I will be focusing on the persuasive effects of language and the images used to influence readers to support the charity which cares for species of animals facing extinction, in particular, the orang-utans. The leaflet starts off with emboldened text which straightaway grabs the reader’s attention. The first word of the opening statement is “Adopt”, which is an imperative (a command).

This is emotive because usually the word is associated with unwanted, uncared for children or orphans.This immediately evokes the reader’s sympathy. Therefore, it makes the readers feel responsible for neglecting a vulnerable creature if they choose not to donate. Further along, the word “endangered” is used.

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This shocks the reader into thinking that there is a real fear that the animals are being harmed and that the world is not doing anything to protect these animals. Next, the writer uses the words “just three pounds”. This makes the contribution sound affordable and reasonable.

It is a clever use of minimisation and it makes the reader feel that he can actually do something about the animals’ suffering, with just a small donation. Lastly, the opening statement ends with “protect a species”, which makes the reader believe that he is doing an even greater deed than he thought because now he knows that this charity appeal doesn’t only involve one animal, it refers to the whole species. Secondly, next to the opening statement the makers have juxtaposed an image featuring three cuddly toys. Each toy has its own gaze and posture; this signifies that each needs a different kind of help to survive.This is a smart skill to utilise so it can make the readers feel empathy for them.

They have an innocent look on their faces. This evokes a sense of guilt and sadness in the reader. The animals’ posture and gaze have been cleverly used to get the maximum attention. For example, the dolphin has been ingeniously placed sideways with only one eye facing the reader and without any water. This evokes a sense of sadness and sympathy towards it. The tiger’s stance and gaze is positioned so it is challenging the readers with a serious appearance on his face.

Next, one of the main reasons why these cuddly toys have been used, and not real life photographs, is because children tend to go through the mail and one of the first things they’ll look for is toys or images. As soon as they see this, they will cry and weep to their parents to help save the species. Research shows parents give in easily to their children so this would help immensely to persuade them to donate. Also, the free gift is enticing to potential donors. Thirdly, immediately beneath the opening statement is the envelope which you would use to send your donation.Even in here, the writer has used many persuasive techniques to improve the chances of getting a donation. Firstly, this envelope catches our eyes because it is printed in a bright yellow colour; the makers have chosen a very bright yellow colour so it blends with the orang-utans’ natural habitat.

In addition, the writer could’ve used this colour to remind us about bananas which orang-utans eat. Secondly, on the envelope, the capitalised word “FREEPOST” is printed. This means the reader doesn’t even have to pay the extra cost of sending his or her donation.Therefore, this encourages the reader to donate, due to how convenient it is.

For the first time, the charity’s logo is introduced followed by its slogan. This logo is very effective because its black and white colours stand out against the yellow background of the envelope. It contains a panda, which is one of the most endangered animals in the world. “For a living planet” is the slogan that follows. It is really effective because it suggests that planet earth would be lifeless without these precious animals.

The emboldened, golden and emotional strapline sustains the reader’s interest. Could be extinct” is used once again, which is a repetition. The word ‘extinct’ suggests once again that we might never see these precious creatures again. Therefore it fills the audience with fear. This is hyperbole (deliberate exaggeration), which is used to compel the audience to donate. It is followed by “within 30 years”. This alarms the readers because now they know how soon this species could be wiped out.

In addition, the makers used the number ’30’ to show it is factual. The word “could” brings hope because it means there’s still a chance that you can save them.Overall, this strapline is filled with emotive language to make readers feel empathy for these creatures.

Beneath the strapline is the copy, which has been printed in a smaller font. This part of the leaflet is designed to give the reader a bit more information about the orang-utans. The makers of this appeal started the first paragraph by stating ‘after millions of years’. This phrase suggests that the orang-utans have been living on this planet for millions of years and before the readers and now they will be extinct in less than three decades.The writer uses the words “critically endangered”, which is another use of repetition.

This suggests the animals have no chance of survival. Next, the writer uses the technique of minimisation again by saying the orang-utans will face extinction in “three decades”. This shocks the reader even more. In addition, this conveys to the reader how serious this situation has become and it gives the reader the chance to reverse the whole situation. Further, the leaflet informs the readers that the orang-utans will face extinction if the annual death rate increases by “just 2%”. This is another use of minimisation.The conditional ‘if’ suggests that if, in the future, the annual rate increases by a tiny amount the animals will face dire consequences.

This is backed up by the use of percentages to highlight and the stark future of the orang-utans. To end this paragraph, the writer introduces the ape “Koyah”. This is unusual because you don’t normally name orang-utans but the writer has cleverly done this to make it seem like Koyah is part of our family and it makes you feel like he is your responsibility. “We have to protect them now” is how the next paragraph starts.

It is like an instruction.It is a short but very effective sentence because it creates fear and hope. It makes a great impact on the reader because it contains the words “have to” and “now”, so it compels the readers to donate generously and help. The words “gone forever” evoke a sense of fear that these extraordinary animals will be gone. This makes the readers realise that these species are precious and that those reading could be responsible for their downfall if they do not respond to the appeal.

In the images beside the copy, you can see an image of an orang-utan living happily in its natural habitat.One orang-utan is pictured to remind readers that this species is being wiped out and that very few of the animals remain in the wild. This creates a sense of sympathy towards these creatures. But then, this dream is totally crushed by the monstrous picture of their whole habitat destroyed by deforestation.

This provides a poignant contrast and allows the makers to graphically illustrate the fact that if the readers do not protect the species in the first image the species will face consequences similar to those shown in the second image.The last words are ‘Can the survivors rely on you? ‘ This is also in a bold and golden font which signifies its importance. This is a rhetorical question and it makes the readers think that the animals are directly speaking to them and came to them for help, believing that they certainly will give a helping hand.

The word “you” is a direct appeal to the reader and this personal pronoun makes the reader more involved in the cause and makes the appeal harder to ignore. The leaflet ends by saying that it was recycled.By this, it will make the readers think the makers are also humans who are doing everything to help the animals. In addition, it is in really fine small font which is tightly fitted at the bottom of the page, which suggests they are also trying to save paper and therefore save trees. Overall, I believe this is a very effective charity appeal because of the large amount of persuasive techniques used such as emotive language, repetition, minimisation and facts and opinions. Combined, these techniques ensure that readers feel sympathy for the animals’ plight and therefore feel more compelled to help.


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