This controversial Bangalore public safety advertisement was created by the Bangalore traffic police, and was designed to shock people out of talking to their friends and families on the phone while they are driving (Macleod, 2010).
The symbolism in this image is as clear as it is alarming, if you know you are talking to somebody who is behind the wheel, hang up the phone or their blood could be on your hands, or as Weburbanist.com, 2014 says “and on your face… not to mention splattered all over your clothing and bedding”.
The image is that of a man holding a mobile phone away from himself, while blood is shooting out of the device onto his clearly horrified and unprepared face. The character is faded and background blurred to contrast the vivid red colour of the blood gunning out of the phone, and is done purposely as to draw your attention, the image of the blood is a severe shock and immediately hooks you onto the purpose of the advertisement.
Simonlugassy.com, 2014, states that “these ads use fear in its most primal state by showing the threat of death. The message of the ad is clear”, and it is, using very graphic and disturbing truths to guilt you into driving responsibly.
The connotations of this image are obvious as first sight, blood is immediately associated with harm or death so at first glance you are aware that the message will be controversial, as it is done strategically by also writing it in blood, to further highlight the danger.
The modern interpretation of this image seems as clear as it would have been in the 1960’s even without the technology, distractions have consequences, and being an accessory to the diversion means you are deemed just as responsible to the outcome, or at least ‘guilty by association’.
Adsoftheworld.com. 2014. Bangalore traffic police: Talk them dead, Girlfriend | Ads of the World
<http://adsoftheworld.com/media/print/bangalore_traffic_police_talk_them_dead_girlfriend> viewed 18 Mar 2014
Macleod, D 2010, Don’t Talk While he Drives,
<http://theinspirationroom.com/daily/2010/dont-talk-while-he-drives/> viewed 18 Mar 2014.
Simonlugassy.com 2014, ROAD SAFETY: Don’t Talk While He/She Drives,
<http://www.simonlugassy.com/theshrink/roadsafetyIndia.html> viewed 18 Mar 2014.
Weburbanist.com 2014, Mad Marketing: 15 Crazy & Controversial Advertisements | Urbanist,
<http://weburbanist.com/2010/11/08/15-cool-crazy-controversial-advertisements/> viewed 18 Mar 2014.