“Felons & Guns: No Friends, No Family, No Future.”
Felons & Guns: No Friends, No Family, No Future.CTA transit ad
This is one ad in a series that has appeared on CTA buses, often on the back. The themes are similar; if you’re a felon and you’re caught with a gun, you may end up saying farewell to everything you care about, often depicted as a woman and children. I don’t remember who the sponsor is, but I think it’s an agency.
Who is the audience for this campaign? Does the sponsor believe that hard-core felons are driving behind CTA buses, slapping their foreheads in enlightenment, and thinking, “Man, I’d better get rid of that gun or I’ll end up with no friends, no family, and no future! That would suck!”
Probably not. First, I would guess that many felons aren’t risking a home with a picket fence and all that comes with it. I would also suspect that many of them are violent criminals and gang members who don’t have caring attachments to people in the first place. Appealing to them as though they were middle-class suburbanite office workers is most likely ineffective (assuming they see these ads at all).
It’s hard to tug at heartstrings that may not exist.
My thought is that these ads are aimed at stolid citizens who’d like to be reassured that something is being done about those gun-toting felons on the streets. The sponsor can say that they’re making it clear to felons who can read that gun possession has consequences. It’s too bad that they’re consequences that many felons may be unlikely to concern themselves about. I don’t feel reassured about anything except the fact that time, effort, money, and resources were wasted in a futile way.
I feel confident, however, in the absurdity of life.
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