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Shock tactics are a powerful tool for brands and charities alike but they don't always work. There are pitfalls to watch out for when using shock to sell.

Shock is always being debated in the creative industries. Most mainstream brands tend to stay away from anything that's too risqué but shock has become an important element for many companies from charities to breweries.

Shock is incredibly effective. Shock makes you sit up and take notice. Shock is intriguing, engaging and motivating. It can make a previously obscure product stand out above anything else in the market and make it seem more admirable for its bravery.

But should you use shock within your portfolio, student work, spec work, etc? Probably. That might not be the definitive answer that you were looking for but there's a good reason for that. Shock can certainly be powerful but it's also become the go to tactic for much work, particularly charity pieces. That means you need a stronger justification if you do choose to employ it. 

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