This poster created by George Giusti for Fortune Magazine in 1941 features an ominous image of a gas mask with a clock counting down to zero in one eye and a burning shoreline in the other. At the bottom is the text “Join the A.R.P.” The A.R.P. or Air Raid Protection was part of the U.S. Office of Civilian Defense and was responsible for organizing preparations for wartime emergencies. With the United States’ entry into World War II, there was uncertainty of what would happen next. The greatest fear was an attack on American soil.
This image has all the hallmarks of a successful fear appeal. The perceived threat presented is that an attack is imminent. The recommended action is to wear a gas mask and “Join the A.R.P.” The assumption is that the audience is capable of doing both of these things and that in doing so they will be protected against bombing.