0:01 – The ad starts with a scene of two cars going opposite directions on a local highway. The highway is a three-way road with a shared lane in the center that either side could use to pass slower cars. The center lane has a solid yellow line and a dashed yellow line on either side of it. This indicates that cars in both lanes can use this center lane. The camera is slightly diagonal to the highway, so it gives the view of the road as well as the view of what is next to the road.
This type of camera angle is to give us a broad picture of what is happening. The camera is a little above eye-level and is not moving and the only moving things are the cars showing us what we need to focus on.
The sky is clear with very few clouds in the background, and it is daytime because it looks sunny. The highway is lined with palm trees that are in pairs of two and are going as far as the frame shows. Behind the palm tress is a guard rail and behind that is a giant field blocked in with thing silver fencing. The field is just grass, so there is not much going on there. In the distance, behind the field, you can see more bundled up trees indicated some sort of forest or park, and to the right of that is what looks like a warehouse and a bunch of trailers.
The imagery set up by the background is to give the feeling of an ordinary day. The sun is out with clear skies show us that there are no environmental factors that are playing a role in the ad. Nothing crazy is happening and it is just a typical day. They do this so that the viewer can understand that the events of the ad can happen at any time. The palm trees indicate California or Florida, but the large field indicates it is an unpopulated portion of whatever state it is. The guard rail indicates that the cars are going pretty fast because guard rails are usually to protect cars moving fast.
The two cars on the road are a red sedan and a black SUV. The red sedan is on the left and headed in the direction of the camera while the black SUV on the right and is headed away from the camera. The Black SUV is not in his own lane, but rather in the left lane where oncoming traffic is coming from and where the red car is. The black SUV is then seen swerving out of the way of the red sedan in an effort not to hit the red sedan. The red sedan does not take any action to avoid being hit and continues driving straight the entire second. They do not crash because the black car swerves just in time towards the guard rail and the palm trees. He is going pretty fast so a crash with the guard rail is most likely going to happen. The red car continues on his way, without moving a muscle. The two cars are the only thing moving so that is where the attention of the viewer is.
The black SUV being in the wrong lane is showing us who is at fault in the scenario because he is in the wrong lane, and he is the one that would be responsible for the crash. The same reasoning goes for why he is the one that is swerving because he is doing something wrong, while the red car is not moving because they did not do anything wrong. Although, the normal reaction of a car that is about to be hit would be to move out of the way even if they are not doing anything wrong, but the red car doesn’t move which might mean he is not paying attention. The ad maker probably made this choice so that the viewer does not get confused between which car is the one making a mistake. The scene is shown for only one second and ff they are both seen swerving, it could lead to confusion.
0:02/0:03 – The scene now shows us the inside of the car. The camera only shows the driver seat with the driver inside and his seatbelt on. This scene is presumably after the car has hit the guard rail because glass is seen flying all around the car, while the driver is being jerked left to right in slow motion. The driver is a young African American with a white T-shirt on. He is skinny, yet muscular, based off his biceps, indicating that he is potentially an athlete. His face is scrunched up indicating fear and distress on what is happening. His eyes are closed as his arms are flailing about.
The ad chose a young man as the driver because when something happens to a younger person, it is much more impactful and scarier because being youth symbolizes innocence and potential. The fact that he is possibly an athlete also speaks to his potential. The slow-motion affect give the viewer time to realize what is going on and catch everything that is being shown. The camera angle is eye level taken from the front windshield looking into the car.
The next scene shows a zoomed-up image of glass falling to the pavement of the road confirming that he did crash. The camera moves from right to left but the imagery doesn’t change much. The purpose of this is mostly to confirm that the glass was coming from the Black SUV because the camera is zoomed in on the right lane where the Black SUV would have crashed.
0:04 – 0:07 Everything is still in slow motion. The scene cuts to an image of a phone flying out of the young person’s hand. He was holding the phone in a way that indicated that he was texting someone with his thumb hovering the keypad. Glass is still seen flying about indicating this is right as the crash happened. The camera angle is taken from his eye level if he was looking to the right at his phone. The background just shows the inside of the car.
On the phone, the contact is Sarah with two hearts on the left and right indicating a romantic interest of the driver, either a crush or a girlfriend. Most likely a girlfriend because 4 messages are seen that are sent by her. The first one is two heart emojis. The second is “Okay see you then!” The third is “Are you on your way?” The last is “I’m here now.” The driver has a message typed out, but not sent that says “I’m on my way.” In the top left, there are other messages that have not been answered indicating that the driver is popular and that a lot of people message him.
These messages explain that the main character is meeting up with his girlfriend somewhere and that she is already there. The protagonist did not respond to any of the older messages probably because he was driving. Because Sarah sent multiple messages and was already there, the driver probably wanted to just let her know that he is on his way and does not want her to worry. The slow motion in this scene is to enable the viewer to see what is written on his phone. Probably not the exact messages but the fact that someone has texted him 4 times and he did not respond yet, and the fact that he has a message written out.
The scene cuts again with the image of his wallet flying through the car with glass still flying about. The wallet is open with an image of a girl in the front and center in the see through pocket that comes in a lot of wallets. The background of the image is the center console of the car, but it is blurry indicating us to focus on the wallet. The girl is seen smiling and wearing a read sweater. She looks to be in her teens and she has long black hair. Her skin tone is slightly tanned potentially indicating she is of latin origin. There is also a credit card in the wallet.
This image is probably of Sarah. This was shown so that the viewer can gain sympathy for the driver by putting a face to his romantic interest so that the audience gains more sympathy and concern.
0:08 – 0:09 – The image cuts to the driver sitting next to Sarah on the floor outside. Sarah is making the same exact smile and face that was on the picture inside of his wallet. The background has a tree on the left with only leaves shown and on the right there is a clear sky. There are phone lines in the skyline. The young man is wearing a tie-dye shirt, gray pants, and a chain that has the letter S on it. He has braces and black small earrings in his ear. He has small, thin dreads with a fade on the side. Sarah is wearing the same red sweater she was wearing in the picture and looks exactly the same as she did before. They are both posing, smiling, and looking forward at the camera indicating that they are taking a picture. The young man is seen moving his hand toward himself with a phone in his hand confirming the picture. They both look down to see the picture on the phone.
This is clearly a flashback because the driver is seen healthy and happy indicating that there has been no trauma yet. This is where the picture inside his wallet was taken based off the clothes and the smile that Sarah was making. The scene furthers the image of their relationship showing that they are happy which makes the viewer even more sympathetic to the driver. The S on the young man’s change stands for Sarah potentially making their relationship even more serious. The camera angle is taken from directly in front of them, giving us the perspective of the picture. This angle shows us what the picture would look like, and it would look like they are in love.
0:10 – There has a different angle of the same scene as the one before. The camera angle is now closer to them and taken from the right of Sarah. The view would be the same as if someone was sitting next to Sarah and looking towards them. The background has more trees covering majority of the screen behind them. There is a building in the bottom left with only the roof being shown. There is also a telephone pole in the top right of the background. This plain background is to take the focus away from everything else but the two kids.
The young male and Sarah are both looking down at the photo smiling same as the scene before. Sarah was briefly fixing her hair from the side and moves her hand down. She is wearing small gold earrings that were not noticeable before. They are both smiling while looking at the picture. Sarah slowly begins to look up towards the young male. As she does, her face goes from smiling to a frown, and she begins staring at the male. The young man notices that she is doing this and looks at her too. His face goes from smiling to puzzled and confused to frowning.
0:11/0:12 – The camera angle changes to the perspective of the young man when he looks left towards Sarah. We see exactly what he would be seeing in the scene before this one. The sky is still clear of clouds and is sunny outside. We have a clear picture of Sarah’s face now and she is still staring at him with a look of disappointment or anger. She is on the left side of the frame while the right side has what looks to be a residential area. There are houses lined up one next to the other indicating that this is a residential street. There are trees next to each house and a telephone pole on the right. There is also a light pole a little further down the street. The background is blurry indicating that we should be focusing on the girl. They are sitting on a grey rooftop with their jackets further down the roof. The camera begins to focus on Sarah more and more which makes the background even more blurry and more light is on Sarah’s face. There are white particles flying around the screen as the scene goes on; this is most likely glass because it looks exactly like the white particles that were flying around when the young man crashed.
The camera angle is significant because we get to see Sarah’s face without any other distractions. Her being visibly upset out of nowhere is very startling as she stares at the camera. The creators of the ad did this to make the viewer uncomfortable and confused as to why she is looking at him like that. The background shows the suburbs probably to give the viewer a calm, serene background to indicate that nothing much is going on besides what is happening with Sarah. When the glass starts flying around the message of the ad becomes more clear. The young man was texting while driving which most likely lead to him crashing. Sarah is frowning at him because she is upset that he decided to text and drive, and now he was in an accident. In the real memory, Sarah didn’t frown at him like this, and it is just her reaction if she did know that he texted while driving.
0:13 – The camera angle now zooms in on the African-American’s eyes. The camera is at eye-level, but slightly to the right of his face, curved to show his face and nothing else. From our perspective his left is our right and our right is his left. His left eye is closer to the camera because the camera is shifted to the right from our perspective, but that is closer to his left from his perspective. The frame is zoomed in so that we can only see half of his nose and most of his eyebrows. Because we are so close, his facial features are very clear; we can see tiny bumps on his skin around his nose and eyes. His eyes are open and he is staring straight ahead. There is an image reflecting off his eyes but it is difficult to tell what it is. It looks to be that he is inside of a car, but it’s too small to be able to tell. We don’t see Sarah in his eyes, however, so that means this is at another time from his date with Sarah. Very small pieces of glass are flying about in this scene.
The camera zooming in on his eyes could potentially be trying to explain what the previous scene was: his life flashing before his eyes, and this memory was one of the key memories. The young man probably feels guilty about texting while driving, so he recalls how his girlfriend would feel about that even when they are so close and happy. The glass flying about is also an indication that this is what he saw right after his crash.
0:14/0:15 – The scene changes to the protagonist standing in front of a pond. The sky is clear and the water is clear enough to see the reflections of the things around the pond. There is luscious grass surrounding the lake with a few trees near the pond that are being reflected. There is a bunch of trees and greenery lined up across the entire background.. The camera is a little under eye-level where we are able to see his face and his body, but not his legs. He is seen laughing as the camera rotating in a circular motion from left to right. He is still wearing the S chain, and a navy blue shirt. There is a girl next to him that is also laughing. This is not Sarah because this girl is Caucasian with blonde hair. She is wearing a white shirt and a necklace. We see the shoulder of someone else, but we do not know who these people are. The camera keeps shifting until we see the back of the girl whose shoulder was showing. She is an African-American girl who is wearing a yellow shirt, and has braids, and wearing a necklace.
The background of this ad is beautiful and also gives off a serene feeling. The ad keeps going back and forth between showing calm, serene backgrounds to backgrounds with glass flying about. They do this to show how nice the protagonist’s life was and how that crash ruined it all because he was texting. Two new people get introduced, but we don’t know who they are just yet. They are most likely friends because the protagonist is seen laughing with then, but he is not too close to anyone.
0:16 – The scene switches to Sarah. The sky is clear and there are trees in the background. The camera is chest leveled, but tilted up so that we can mainly see Sarah’s face. She is wearing a white shirt with lines running horizontally and vertically all along it forming little rectangles on the shirt. Sarah is hysterically laughing in this scene. The laughing is considered hysterical because while laughing, her eyes are closed, she bends forward, and comes back up while covering her face. The protagonist and his friends were laughing while standing around meanwhile she clearly found it even more funny. She is holding a thin stick in her hand that forms a circular shape, the same design that would blow bubbles.
Sarah being there confirms that the other two girls are not past relationships or anything like that, but they are all just friends. Everyone is laughing a lot so they seem like they are enjoying a lot. The creators of the ad already made us gain sympathy for the protagonist by showing his love life to us, but not they are showing all his friends as well just to show how many people would get hurt by us making a mistake like driving while texting.
0:17 – The scene switches to all of the friends talking. The blonde girl and the girl with braids are turned slightly towards each other and are seen in a conversation. Sarah and a male friend are also slightly facing one another and having their own conversation. They are all standing in a line. The camera is facing directly at them with the blonde all the way on the left, then the girl with braids, then the new male friend, then Sarah. The camera is mid level where it shows the shirts of all the people and nothing lower. The new male friend has curly black hair with a small beard. he is wearing a navy blue sweatshirt with rolled up sleeves. Everyone else is wearing the same clothes they were wearing earlier. The background has short grass with two gigantic trees. We only see the trunks of the trees, but the trunks are very thick. One tree is behind the center first two girls, and the other is behind the center of the new male friend and Sarah. Behind the two trees are a bunch of plants that are the size of cars. There is a pavement path on the left that is leading into the forest of plants. The sun is shining between the shade that the trees provide. They all are smiling and engaged in their conversations.
The background is once again beautiful with the sun shining and all the greenery. They all seem like good friends because Sarah and the male friend are both smiling a lot, while the other two seem like they are really focused on what each other are saying. The creators of the ad probably made two separate conversations to showcase the type of friendship it is. They all enjoy talking to each other in a big group based off the last two scenes, yet they are close enough to enjoy 1 on 1 conversations too. Sarah is moving her hands around indicating she is the one talking and the blonde girl is gesturing her hands indicating she is talking in their respective conversations.
0:18 – The scene now only shows the protagonist. In the background is a playground with slides and a swing. They were in a park this entire time. There is a bench on the right for parents to sit at while their kids play. There are no children seen on the playground. There are trees all around the background, with two trees on the right being a little close. The background image is blurred to draw attention towards the protagonist. The camera angle is right in front of him only showing his head and a bit of his shoulders. His head is slightly tilted, and he is smiling towards a direction slightly to the right of the camera angle.
The protagonist is looking forward at his friends most likely. This means that the previous camera angle was the protagonist’s point of view and he is looking at his friends talking. The way he is smiling indicates that he is appreciating this moment and is grateful for having his friends.
0:19/0:20 – The camera switches back to the protagonist’s point of view from two scenes ago. The background is the exact same and it is just a continuation of what was happening in the scene in which they were talking. They are continuing their conversations and smiling. All at once they stop facing each other and start facing towards the camera which means they are all looking towards the protagonist. They stop smiling and they go straight to a frown just like Sarah did earlier in the ad. On all of their faces is a look of disappointment or anger. The light begins shining brighter on all of them just like it did to Sarah earlier in the ad.
The effect of one person staring at you is startling, but when four people it is much worse. They are all staring at the protagonists making him feel extremely guilty most likely. He is not only losing his girlfriend, but all his friends as well due to him texting while driving. The fact that the background is so calm and peaceful, and then it switches to this intense scene highlights how drastically your life could change in one moment. The light shining on them brings all the attention towards their change in emotion.
0:21 – 0:24 – The camera angle zooms in on the young man’s eyes again. The camera is at eye-level, but slightly to the right of his face, curved to show his face and nothing else. From our perspective his left is our right and our right is his left. His left eye is closer to the camera because the camera is shifted to the right from our perspective, but that is closer to his left from his perspective. The frame is zoomed in so that we can only see half of his nose and most of his eyebrows. Because we are so close, his facial features are very clear; we can see tiny bumps on his skin around his nose and eyes. His eyes are open and he is staring straight ahead. There is an image reflecting off his eyes but it is difficult to tell what it is. It looks to be that he is inside of a car, but it’s too small to be able to tell. We don’t see Sarah in his eyes, however, so that means this is at another time from his date with Sarah. Very small pieces of glass are flying about in this scene.
Just like last time, the camera zooming in on his eyes could potentially be trying to explain what the previous scene was: his life flashing before his eyes, and this memory was another key memory. The young man probably feels guilty about texting while driving, so he recalls how his friends would feel about him doing that. He seems very social, so his girlfriend and friends are probably some of the most important people in his life, especially because he recalled them right as he crashed.
0:24 – 0:31 – The scene fades to a black background. “STOPTEXTSSTOPWRECKS.ORG” appears in the center of the screen. The word “STOP” is highlighted in yellow, and “TEXTS” and “WRECKS.ORG” is written in white. Underneath the url is a dotted yellow line, the same kind that would appear on the highway in between lanes. The yellow lines are moving down giving us the feeling that we are moving forward like we would in a car. It is the same thing you would see if you were driving and looking at the yellow lines.
Three sources/organizations are listed at the bottom centered underneath the dashed yellow line and all three are next to each other. The left one is ad council written in a white square with black font letters. The word ad is much bigger than council. The middle one is “PROJECT YELLOW LIGHT” written top to bottom. This also has a picture of a stoplight with the yellow light on to the left of the writing. Slightly above this in very small writing is “Hunter Garner Scholarship”. Everything is written in yellow. The last organization is NHTSA which is written in blue letters. To the left of the word is 4 small squares that each have a different symbol. They are arranged to shape a bigger square with each square in a corner. The top left is a blue square with a wheel in the center. The top right is a yellow square with a stick figure that is in a walking stance. The bottom left is a red square with a road. The bottom right square is grey and it has a star in the center.
The word STOP is probably highlighted yellow to make it easier to read the sign that is in the center. Without the yellow, it would be much harder to read, and there is not much time to do so in an ad. Stop being yellow both times signify a cause and an effect. The yellow line moving towards the sign signify that we need to be moving in the direction of stopping texts. The sources at the bottom are meant to tell us who made the ad. The sign confirms that this is an ad to stop texting while driving because it is extremely dangerous and you could lose loved ones because of it.
I included the link to the video, but were we supposed to put it into a different format like a tinyurl or mla format? Also I only did the first 9 seconds because in the first 9 seconds I used 1270 words. I was trying to be thorough in my responses. Did we have to do the full 30 seconds? If so, did I include too much, and need to trim it down? Was my rhetoric analysis detailed enough or not?
I don’t remember where I saw this question first, but I answered it there, I think. There is no word count on this assignment. Cover the entire 30 seconds.
NF, I will not be watching the video as I read your analysis. Instead, I’ll record my reactions and questions about your explanations as I read them. I’ll be calculating how well you bring the scene to my mind AND how well you explain the rhetorical strategies the director was employing when making the million decisions about casting, costuming, setting, props, lighting, text, . . . .
0:01 – A “left turn lane” indicates an intersection, but you don’t mention one. Two cars moving in opposite directions might be crossing the screen left-to-right and right-to-left or one toward us, one away. Maybe what you mean by diagonal is “a little of both of these” possibilities. Is the camera at drivers’-eye level? Elevated? Why would anybody position a camera where this one is positioned? Could it be a traffic cam? Or mounted on a building? Or is this a scene only god and passing birds might see?
I’m not clear on “road” yet. You call it a “street” the second time, so, is this a residential neighborhood, an interstate, a local highway? I’m stumped by the “left turn lane.” A street lined with palm trees sounds residential. And wealthy. Are we in a wealthy California or Florida suburb? I appreciate the commentary on “ordinariness,” but I can’t visualize the road. How fast are the cars going?
Thank you for clarifying the “direction of travel.” I’m having a hard time with “not in his own lane.” Is he in the lane the sedan would be in to make a left turn? Do both cars have a left turn lane? Does the SUV swerve to avoid BEING HIT as you say, or to avoid HITTING the sedan? (not the same thing) Do they crash or don’t they? I understand half of your explanation for the swerve. If the WRONG driver KNOWS HE’S GOING TO CRASH, he will swerve regardless of who’s right. Right? So will the driver who DIDN’T DO ANYTHING WRONG, unless he DOESN’T KNOW HE’S GOING TO CRASH.
I’m going to break my customary practice and watch the first couple of seconds.
OK, now I get it.
This is a 3-lane highway. The guard rail alongside indicates that cars travel quite fast along this stretch of road. It’s not a wealthy suburb; it’s an unpopulated, mostly industrial stretch of road with a warehouse and a cluster of trailers in the distance. The traffic sign on the far side of the road shows, with its criss-crossing arrows, that the vehicles will SHARE a center lane for passing slower vehicles in either direction. The solid painted lines on the asphalt show the default lanes; the broken lines indicate which direction cars are permitted to enter or exit the shared lane. The curved arrows on the asphalt direct cars out of the center lane to avoid one another. We happen to be at a point in the highway where we can see arrows pointing both directions in the center lane.
So. We’re not at an intersection. We’re on a highway where two drivers have picked up speed and should be avoiding each other carefully. When you say the SUV is “not in his own lane” you really mean it. He’s not in his default RIGHT LANE. He’s not even in the SHARED CENTER LANE. He’s in the ONCOMING LANE that rightly belongs only to the red sedan. He swerves TO AVOID HITTING THE SEDAN, not to avoid BEING HIT BY THE SEDAN.
Clearly, the sedan could swerve, too, if the driver sees the danger. So, my only question now, as a viewer, is: “Did the driver of the sedan notice the oncoming SUV?” Clearly, the SUV driver is at fault. But MAYBE the sedan driver was distracted and didn’t take good care of himself.
(The preceding comments assume for convenience that both drivers are male.)
Would you be willing to revise your 0:01 on the basis of my feedback, please, and then take a good look at the rest of your commentary too before asking for further feedback? Thanks. Feedback is a conversation. I will toss up a preliminary grade of 50/100 just to show me in the gradebook that you’ve posted. Clearly you’re not going to want to stand on that grade.
I added the changes you recommended. Thank you for the help!
One more thing. I still haven’t watched the video past the first second, but I know from the very end of that second that the cars don’t actually collide. The SUV driver actually manages to swerve away from the collision, but clearly he’s going to be in big trouble heading off the road at a fast clip. Be sure to mention in your commentary that the red sedan proceeds along its way without being struck and that the SUV swerves OFF THE ROAD toward the trees and the guard rail.