The Oxfam leaflet that I am analysing is directed at an adult audience who have a bank account and are looking at making the lives of people in third world countries better. The leaflet uses a variety of instilling images to persuade the reader to give money to Oxfam and the use of contrasting colours helps the flow of the leaflet. The opening page of the leaflet is bright and dramatic, however it remains simple and uncluttered and gives the impression of a professional and well-known charity.Besides the use of green to show the leaflet is from Oxfam, there is also the connotation of life, which cannot be sustained without water. There is also the connotation of nature which of course water is a part of, this links with Oxfam as the interpretation is that they are giving water to the people who need it in third world countries, so showing this is a reputable and essential charity to give to in terms of saving peoples lives. The simple use of a tap wrapped up on the front page is genius.We all have the connotation of water when we see a tap, which is what you will be providing to those people when you donate your money.
A tap is also something that many people in developed countries take for granted, everyone has a tap in their home and uses them almost everyday, so this well-known image appeals to everybody. By having the tap wrapped up as well gives the impression of a gift, which is essentially what you will be providing for these people in third world countries, the gift of water.The gift tag on the front page of the leaflet reinforces that this tap (which symbolises water), is a gift to people in the third world countries, the writing on the label is made to look as though it has been hand written, this makes it more personal to the reader, and of course if the leaflet can make the reader feel for people in third world countries and appeal to their emotions it will make the reader more likely to give money to Oxfam. Focusing on the gift tags text ‘make a gift for life’ we can see a double meaning.
The first meaning which can be understood is that a gift of water (which the tap symbolises) is for life, the people in third world countries will be able to use this gift of water for a long time. More often than not people in developed countries are bought gifts which last for a couple of years which then either gets broken or worn out or go out of fashion and then we dispose of them, however what Oxfam want to get across here is that this gift of water will not be thrown away or got rid of in a couple of years time it will be there for those people’s entire lives or in any case a long time.The second meaning which can be inferred from the gift tag is that a gift of water will bring life. As is common knowledge life cannot be sustained without water and so water is essential for life, by giving water as a gift it will enable these people to survive for longer, thus making a ‘gift for life’. The Oxfam logo at the bottom of the page has been designed like that for a reason, the symbol in the middle of the circle is meant to represent a human.
The reason for using a human is so that possible donators know this charity is for people and so makes it more personal increasing the chances for the charity to receive money.Moving on to the second and third pages of the leaflet, your attention is divided between the sharp contrasts of the black and white pages with the glass of water placed in the middle. Concentrating on the black page first we can see that the images displayed are of the hardships, poor living conditions and poor way of life faced by many people living in third world countries. By placing these images on a black background, which conjures up connotations of ‘bad’ and ‘dark’, reinforces the awful living conditions these people face.
Looking at each picture you can see there is at least one person included in them this again plays on the readers emotions, seeing a human enduring these hardships has a much greater effect and encourages more people to become involved and do something about it, by donating. The quotes which accompany the images are all followed by the person’s name, this again is similar to the pictures with people in as it makes it more personal, as readers will know that this is an actual person saying this and thus makes the meaning more powerful and more real.Similarly on the white page of the leaflet images are again used, they are of the same people shown on the black side of the leaflet however this time the people are shown with a smile on their face and the images contain more colour, this increased energy and colour ties in with the white background which forces images of pureness, clean and good into your mind. Again the quotes are from people which make it more personal and show the reader that by the money they donate they can make a huge difference to those people.All of these images are connected to the glass of water via red lines the red lines give the connotation of life and with your money being used to give water to these third world countries it can give life the chance to survive. Also the use of a simple glass tumbler to contain the water reiterates the fact that something which we take for granted in developed countries can make all this difference shown in the contrasting images on the black and white sides of the leaflet.The small green box which covers the bottom of pages two and three gives the reader a few facts and statistics to further persuade them into donating to Oxfam.
With the section being backed in green it draws your attention to it, again the green colour gives connotations of life and nature which water fits perfectly into both.The final sentence of the box is written in different colour from the rest of the text, this is done for two reasons the first is because it is no longer a fact or statistic which they are telling you, it is how ‘you’ the reader can donate your money to Oxfam and by splitting this into a different colour from the rest of the text it makes it clear what the reader has to do in order to help the people from third world countries.The second reason is that by splitting it off from the bulk of the text, by using a different colour, leads you onto the next page in the leaflet which is the regular giving form. The regular giving form is where the majority of readers would be most likely to put the leaflet down and not bother donating money, so by having a smooth connection between page three and the giving form increases the chance of the reader donating money.Page four which is the regular giving form is where Oxfam would lose the majority of readers from donating money as many readers cannot be bothered with the hassle of filling out a form. At the very top of the giving form it is made clear to the readers that by filling out this form they are going to be donating money to Oxfam, however by calling this a regular gift makes the reader feel as though it is less of a chore and as though they are not giving money away, which nobody likes to do, but rather they are giving a gift which encourages and makes them more likely to fill out the form.The use of writing the word ‘YES’ in capitals gives a positive attitude and reassures the reader they are doing the right thing.
By placing the ‘regular giving form’ in the green box shows the possible donator clearly what they are filling out which makes the reader feel more assured and more likely to fill the form out.Calling the form a ‘regular giving form’ also helps Oxfam to entice readers into filling it out, if they had called it a standing order form which is what it is they would not have been very successful in receiving donations from people, as a standing order form has negative connotations because this is what many people pay the bills through so by eliminating this negative name keeps the positive attitude of the readers going which has been built up by the other pages of the leaflet, and therefore increasing the chance of the possible donator to donate money.The giving form is standard to most other giving forms, Oxfam have filled out everything they can in the giving form to increase the likelihood of the reader filling it out because they have less to do. Around the outside of the giving form is writing which tells the reader that the form is a self sealing envelope again this increases the chance of someone sending the envelope off to Oxfam as the donator does not have to go and look for an envelope to send the form off in.Finally at the bottom of the giving form the Oxfam logo is again shown this gives verification that the reader can trust their money is going to the actual charity and not some ‘middleman’ organisation and again the logo is in green to give the connotations of life and nature which is what the gift of water will provide.
Turning over to page five of the leaflet on the reverse of the giving form is a free post envelope, by making it freepost it again gives less reason for the reader to put the leaflet down and not bother sending it off, in another way it means the reader does not have to bother looking for a stamp but can just post it straight away as the address is written on, meaning there is less effort involved for the reader and Oxfam are therefore more likely to receive donations.All of the pictures shown are positive, bright and colourful. The first picture of a woman holding a picture card makes the image more personal, by including a person into an image it makes the reader feel more attached to them and the situation they are in. The second image is of clear blue skies the reason this image has been chosen is that blue skies bring connotations of happiness, by providing water to these people in the third world countries it will bring happiness into their lives.The third image is of a well being built, this image has been chosen to show the reader what their money will give to these people in third world countries. By showing the donator how much of a difference their money will make it encourages them to give to Oxfam. Near the bottom of the page the “make a difference” heading and the ‘thank you’ tag are both in red this grabs the readers attention by making them standout from the rest of the text, also the red gives images and connotations of life which is what Oxfam are trying to say here is that you are giving the gift of life by donating money which will “make a difference”.
After analysing the effects and techniques that the Oxfam leaflet has used to achieve its aims I can see it is very effective at targeting the reader’s emotions and using stereotypical colour and word connotations to persuade the reader to donate money. The leaflet is filled with hidden meanings which make the reader want to get involved with Oxfam’s aims of providing water for third world countries via the two pounds which they are asking you to donate a month.