Shock value


Shock value

Shock value is the potential of an image, text or other form of communication to provoke a reaction of disgust, shock, anger, fear, or similar negative emotion.

hock value as humor

There are many extremely lewd jokes circulating that use shock value as humor. The idea is that if something is extremely offensive it begins to become funny. Death, murder, kidnapping, incest, discrimination, child molestation, and other vulgar subjects are common elements of shock value jokes. This is most often seen in "dead baby jokes".

The humor used in the popular "Aristocrats" joke depends heavily on shock value.

hock value in advertising

Shock value is often used in the world of commercials in order to gain attention for the product or service in offer.

For example, the Benetton Group is infamously known for using shocking material in their ads (such as a newborn baby still covered in blood and with an umbilical cord). The baby has no connection with the brand or its products, but people still remember the ad and the brand. Häagen-Dazs uses a milder version of this tactic - its ice cream products are combined with the element of cows to produce shock value.

Although this type of advertising may be found offensive to some viewers, it has proven effective in the past. The initial shock invariably burns the accompanying brand name into the viewer's memory.

Modern shock value

Modern day shock value can come in many different forms. As things that were once shocking, like Mohawks and piercings (see:Punk fashion), are becoming more commonplace, shock value can sometimes be found in clothing from the 1890-1930's, such as top hats, spats, monocles, and walking sticks.

Shock value in music involves highly offensive lyrics and/or image. Famous examples include Gwar, Eminem, Marilyn Manson, and Insane Clown Posse.

ee also

*Black comedy
*Exploitation film
*Gross-out film
*Shock jock
*Shock rock
*Shock site
*Mondo film


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