A change of point of view as a persuasion strategy in social advertising dealing with problems of children (as seen in the following campaigns: “Stop the paedophiles!”, “Small is fragile”, “Children in the Internet” and “Childhood without violence”)
In the article the author analyses the issue of text interpretation from the perspective of communicative grammar. The material for the analysis is provided by social campaigns conducted in Poland and dealing with the problems of children. A characteristic feature of videos broadcast as part of the campaigns in question is that they avoid showing the stigmatised behaviour literally, both in the verbal and in the visual layer of the message. This may stem from the specific nature of the group which these problems concern — recipients of these kind of messages can include children (though they are not addressed to them). Explicit images showing improper behaviour could have too strong and too negative an impact on children’s psyche. That is why all these campaign videos share a persuasion strategy consisting in using various possible points of views concerning the situations they present or, to be more precise, in juxtaposing two points of views of one situation: one systemic, normative, and the other inappropriate, unlawful, illustrating the attitude or behaviour denounced in the videos. Adopting the second point of view is possible thanks to the introduction of information not conforming to the general pattern, information that necessitates a particular interpretation. This interpretation reveals and makes the recipient aware of the actual objective of the video — to draw attention to socially unacceptable behaviour.