Term used to describe the use of shock
, especially in advertising
, to attract and retain the attention of the target audience
. Also usually has the added effect of enchancing their memory of the advert
Similar to scare tactics used by eg. Government agencies in preventing people from smoking, but shock tactics tend to have a more sudden and immediate emotionally disturbing effect.
Commerical advertisers, are in most cases, frowned upon for using such tactics, and generally they shy away from them in any case, as the emotions aroused in many people who watch these ads can often be negative. However, they can often be effective in other contexts, such as drink-driving commericals. The internationally-acclaimed "Shame", introduced in Ireland in Summer 2001, is a good example of such an advert.