Which Image Do You Prefer?: a study of visual communication in six African countries


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Key findings:
The majority of respondents thought that the images in the adverts offer an accurate representation of the situation in Africa.
Most respondents demonstrated a high level of media literacy and understood that fundraising campaigns are strategic and developed to raise funds.
When asked to select imagery for a charity advert, 38% of respondents said they would show the problem, 18% the outcome, 27% the root cause and 18% a combination of all three.
The vast majority of respondents said they would choose negative imagery for a fundraising advert in order to inspire donations.
The images and adverts mostly made respondents feel sad.
The respondents felt that the images generally portrayed Africa as inferior and a continent in need.
Respondents emphasized that dignity and respect must be underlying elements in the portrayal of people in INGO imagery.
Most respondents said they were OK with the use of children in adverts, recognising that this is a deliberate tactic by INGOs to attract potential donations.
However, they highlighted the need for more diversity by for example using images of people of all ages and different races, and generally showing that people have something to offer.
Respondents felt that explicit images involving nudity or bloodshed should never be used.
The vast majority of respondents said it is fundamental to use images in the adverts.