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Persuasive Business & Social Ads and TED Talk

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Media is a powerful tool for transferring important messages can change the opinions of the public or make a difference by supporting a particular point of view or persuade to change one’s opinion. This paper will examine three examples of such persuasive messages found in media. A persuasive message is the one that usually involves a benefit or appeal for the individual that receives the message. In order to persuade the receiver, the sender of a message should put an emphasis on the value that the receiver gets from responding to the message.

Furthermore, a persuasive message is built on the basis of research and understanding the needs and requirements of the intended receivers. This aspect is also instrumental in encouraging the recipient to share the received message with others. The sources of persuasive messages can be varied; however, because of a meticulous implementation, messages from media are the most persuasive.

Fiat Safe Driving

The first example of a persuasive message is the Fiat Safe Driving Campaign. Created by a Brazilian advertisement agency Leo Burnett, the advertisement is a series of three minimal black, and white posters that depict merged letters F, N, Z, and R with images of a little girl, a dog, a cow, and a bus. The tagline of the advertisement is “You either see the letter or a little girl (a dog, a bus, a cow). Don’t text and drive” (as cited in Creative Bloq, 2013, para. 3).

Such an innovative idea has found a balance between striking and memorable imagery and a strong message that makes the recipient reflect. The purpose of the advertisement is to get attention and make the recipient look at the image further to distinguish between the shapes of a letter and an object. This is directly linked to the fact that a person can have difficulties with texting behind the wheel and cause danger to others.

Furthermore, the contrast between the black and white was instrumental in creating sleek images of a dog, a bus, and a little girl. These advertisements were created not to promote the Fiat brand but to emphasize the importance of safe driving. When a recipient first looks at the image, it is clear that it is a depiction of a letter; however, when looking further, an object can be seen. The achieved effect is parallel with texting a driving – a driver sees letters and words on the smartphone, paying less attention to the road and not seeing objects to which a driver can pose a danger.

This message did not change my perception of the environment since the danger of texting while driving is recognized. However, it was powerful in a sense of transmitting a message my the means of minimalistic imagery with an optical illusion. If comparing this advertisement with the persuasiveness of other driving campaigns, it wins in terms of the imagery-message combination. Some campaigns tend to depict quite striking images of consequences of unsafe driving. The Fiat campaign, on the other hand, does not strike the recipient with a devastating image, it tastefully combines a black and white image with a short message that was surely embedded into the memory of the recipients.

No More

The second example of a persuasive message is the ‘No More’ Super Bowl Campaign. It is a strong message that reminds the public that domestic abuse and violence never stopped, even when it’s Super Bowl. The ‘No More’ campaign is a thirty-second clip that shows a text message history between two girlfriends. One girl is having fun watching the game and encourages the other to join her. The second girl says that she should probably not go out because her boyfriend or husband is in “one of those moods.” When asked is she ok, the girl gives no answer.

This advertisement reminds its recipients that the signs of domestic abuse should be recognized and eliminated; domestic abuse is not a joke. According to the statistics outlined in the Up Worthy article “5 Clever Super Bowl Ads that Had Messages way Bigger than Football” (n.d.), twenty-four people become victims of partner violence in the United States (para. 17). Furthermore, the campaign was also influenced by the fact that NFL had failed in handling the cases of domestic violence connected to its players.

The persuasiveness of the message is linked to its relatability. A text message conversation between two friends is a common thing; however, a topic of domestic abuse is rarely discussed in such a conversation. The ‘No More’ campaign shows the problem of domestic abuse as usual, but the primary purpose of the message is that it should not be treated like ordinary.

Sam Berns TED Talk

Sam Berns was a boy that suffered from progeria, a very rare illness of premature aging that was only detected in three hundred fifty people on the planet. In his TED Talk Sam talked about his disease and how drastically it had affected his life. However, the main topic of the talk was not focused on the disease, but how he was able to have a positive outlook on life no matter what. He was persuasive in telling his audience that that it is normal not to be able to do something other people can. Thus, it is beneficial to try making some adjustments to move the things a person can’t do into a category of the things that can be achieved.

To support his idea, Sam had told a story about how he wanted to play drums that were too heavy for him. The drum weighted 40 lbs while Sam’s weight was only 50 lbs. To make his dream come true, Sam along with his parents and an engineer had worked together to create a special drum that would be six times lighter than the standards one so that he could play with the band at halftime (TED Summaries, 2014, para. 6).

The second important message in Sam’s speech is surrounding oneself with people that are supportive. According to Sam, the person’s environment has a direct impact on the life. Lastly, Sam stated that there was no time in life to feel sorry for himself, with the disease he suffered from he just wanted to move forward and make a difference in life. Sam’s speech was persuasive because he did not use any complicated metaphors or put an emphasis on his medical condition; he was persuasive because everything he had said came from his heart. By looking and listening to Sam, I was able to reflect on my life and understand that I should do a lot in my life to make a difference and have a positive outlook on everything.


Couch, R. (n.d.). 5 Clever Super Bowl Ads that Had Messages way Bigger than Football. Web.

Creative Bloq. (2013). Minimalist Posters Drive Home the Dangers of Texting while Driving. Web.

TED Summaries. (2014). My Philosophy for a Happy Life: Sam Berns. Web.

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