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Barnardos Believe In Children (2007-2010)

Rob Miller | Monday September 26, 2011

Categories: A Level, Eduqas (WJEC) A Level, WJEC A2, WJEC A2 Media Studies, WJEC AS, WJEC AS Media Studies, Advertising, More on Advertising

Associated Resources

  • Barnardos Believe Campaign.ppt

Institutional Factors

  • Campaigns sequenced by BBH (Bartle, Bogle, Hegarty, Full Service Agency) since 2000
  • 2001 – Emotional Death (adults and violent death)
  • 2002 – Stolen Childhood (superimposed heads of adults on children)
  • 2003 – Silver Spoon (babies)
  • 2005 – New Life (children back in the womb)
  • Prior campaigns – more ‘shock advertising’ (one Silver Spoon advert – ASA regulated)
  • Low Production Value
  • Barnardos Believe Campaign – 2007:
  • Print Images (2007)
  • Break the Cycle TV Advert (2008) – ‘Slap’
  • Teen’s Speech Webcast (Christmas 2009)
  • Turnaround TV Advert (January 2010)
  • ‘Believe’ – first time Barnardos had used moving image
  • Barnardos work with 110,000 families every year, ‘Believe’ aimed to challenge public perceptions of young people and continue to re-brand as a modern charity
  • Cross Media campaign - £850,000 (not including TV adverts)
  • Press Adverts/Tube Panels/Billboards/Radio
  • TV adverts - £350,000 each (production costs only)
  • Campaign won Newspaper Advertising Award (2007)

Genre | Social Realism

  • Real children in real life situations
  • Frustrated, angry, alienated central protagonists
  • Working class culture referenced
  • Urban and domestic settings
  • Aspiring for a better future
  • Grainy, de-saturated mise-en-scene
  • Low production values
  • Focus on narrative themes
  • Moral realism


  • Challenging narrative themes – Poverty, Abuse, Sexual Abuse, Neglect, Cultural Stereotyping of Youth, Crime and Punishment
  • Initially polysemic (without text) the posters have a negotiated reading - Stuart Hall but dominant meaning is anchored by the textual signifiers
  • Adverts tell a ‘story’
  • Use of narrative enigma (some adverts are deliberately unclear)
  • Single stranded, open narrative
  • 3 Act Structure (Neglect=Crime=Downward Spiral)
  • 4 Act Structure would be Barnardos ‘saves’ them
  • Direct mode of address, use of rhetorical question
  • Levi Strauss’ binary oppositions...

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