Persuasion is the inner influence that pushes one to do something that was intended to be accomplished. It is the influence that boosts ones spirit when one is feeling like giving up. Persuasion plays a vital role in our daily lives. Communication can be considered as a form of persuasion as used in the National Drug Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign. Persuasion has a couple of theories but this paper will outline the general theory of attitude change called the Elaboration Likelihood Model (ELM; Brock and Green 36).
The National Drug Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign that is a program of the Office of National Drug Control Policy in America is sponsored by the White House Office of the National Drug Control Policy. This campaign uses persuasion to influence the youths of America to keep off drugs. Elaboration Livelihood Model (ELM) was discovered in the 1980s by Petty and Cacioppo. It distinguishes the two routes that one uses before he or she persues to something in life (Brock and Green 36). There is the peripheral route and the central route. For proper understanding of the ELM, it is important to understand all the routes of persuasion processes in order to make it more effective. Peripheral route consists of the type of persuasion that occurs as a result of an attractive source that is able to induce change to the target audience without scrutinizing the information presented. In the campaign against drugs, peripheral route has been applied when a businessman in a suit and a brief case passes by while some youths were seated down wasting time and their lives due to drugs. The smart businessman is able to influence or persuade the young people to look forward to be like him, simply by his attractive and admirable nature without using any other form of communication.
The central persuasion includes careful consideration of the ideas that are used in the message of persuasion. The messages that are sent through the central route of persuasion must be direct to the point. The receiver of this kind of information is concerned with the relationship of the message with the subject. In the case of the drug campaign, the message in the advert must directly relate to the use of drugs. It therefore means that the campaign must try to relate to some of the jargons that are used by the youths who consume drugs so that they can feel associated with the campaign. The message delivered must directly relate to the drug users who are the subject for persuasion to be effective. Central persuasion also involves engaging the viewer’s emotions while delivering the intended message (Lakhani 97). The narrator in the advert campaign portrays an emotional set up when Trey and his friends sit down the whole day smoking bhang and doing nothing productive for their lives. He ends the narration by saying; “I wonder if he will ever leave?” where he was referring to Trey who is used to represent the American youths hooked to drugs.
ELM concentrates more on the communication induced attitude change. This has been used in the drug campaign advert where a narrator delivers the message by using a language that is similar to hip hop. Hip hop is the language used by the young people in the streets and it is therefore very appropriate since the campaign is targeting the youths of America who are highly affected by the drug menace.