0:00. As soon as we start up the video, we are placed in a close up shot of a basket of yarn with a pair of hands grabbing for two balls of yarn. Due to the aged, feminine look of the hands, plus the stereotypical assumption of habits of the elderly, we can assume that the person grabbing for the yarn is an old lady about to knit. The closeup shot right into the video confirms that this lady, and this activity holds great importance. The lighting is a warm, afternoon color, granting a feeling of safety. Whoever this lady is, she symbolizes comfort and hospitality.
0:01. Our mystery grandmother has been revealed, and she is everything we could have imagined. A short, sweet old lady with the softest smile we have ever witnessed. She is sitting on a small couch, which has a knitted blanket on top, and another on one of the seats of the couch. Right in front of the camera, barely visible through blurs, is a loveseat with another supposed knitted creation. Combined with the basket of yarn still laying at her feet, we can tell that this isn’t merely a hobby, but more of a passion of the lady’s, her creations lying all over her residence. It has yet to show us, but this knitting is extremely important to the reader; we just do not know why. Beside the lady is an adorable cat laying down on one of the knitted pieces. The orange, adult cat looks intrigued from the balls of yarn the lady is holding. The lady is looking lovingly at the cat as well, an unspoken bond that could never be torn apart.
0:02-0:03. A close up of the yarn is again given to the audience, but this time around the cat reaches its paw out to touch it. The cat and the yarn are connected somehow. Is it just that the lady finds love for both the creature and the non sentient objects?
0:04-0:05. A close shot to the lady, who is looking down at her couch, signaling that her attention is still focused on the cat. After a small moment, she begins speaking, her facial expressions still hinting at her warming presence. This animal isn’t just an animal to the lady. The relationship between the two is more familial. Perhaps the cat replaced the loss of a family member. Maybe she is too old and she only keeps to herself, and the cat is the only source of close bonding she receives.
0:06. The connection between the yarn and the cat is finally established, with the half-finished vest wrapped around her body, hand-made by the lady. This cat isn’t just a member of the old woman’s family, but it is also her (as the title suggests) muse for creating. This connection is important, but the watcher still has not gotten any hints as to why.
0:07-0:10. Our questions have finally been answered where the lady and her cat sit outside on concrete steps with a basket of knitted sweaters, very similar to the prototype the cat has on. They are outside in a very urban setting, with uniform housing and a piece of the sidewalk that has yet to be updated like the rest. The house the woman is outside of is filled with various flowers, adding a very nice splash of color in the otherwise dull, poorly managed greenery. A montage begins of her handing these sweaters out to various strangers, in return gaining a few bills. This is not a set transaction however. With each person comes a different amount of cash being given. A ten dollar bill and a one dollar bill are the ones visible, but have a large difference between the two. This is a “pay what you want” transaction, meaning that this is not meant to be the woman’s main source of income. If it were, the prices would be set in stone. This is rather the lady giving back to the community with her creations, and only charging whatever the customer is fine with receiving. She is selfless in her heart, and most likely beloved in her community.
0:11-0:15. The duo is back inside, the cat sitting innocently on top of the dining table. The woman is sitting on the end, with a pencil, calculator, and an intimidating amount of envelopes. Beside her as well is a plastic jar, completely empty with an attached label on the front. The scene shows us that the poor woman is unfortunately very tight on cash. Backtracking to her exchanging animal sweaters for cash, we now know that every one of those dollars is important to her, but she is so selfless that she wouldn’t dare try to charge too much. We as viewers are having our heartstrings tugged on, praying that no unforeseen events come and mess up this amazing woman’s life.
0:15-0:17. Oh no. In a medium-distance shot, we see a nurse speaking to the woman, both of them having sorrowful looks on both their faces. The travel crate beside the woman tells us everything we need to know. Something is not wrong with the woman, but rather something is wrong with the cat; a fate we find worse as viewers. The old woman does not look completely hopeless, so maybe there is something that can be done, although it is nothing short of an impossible dilemma.
0:18-0:21. This dilemma is also spotted by a man about to finish his business at this place, and his face tells us that his mind and heart are having a roaring debate right now. Eventually, the heart must’ve won, since the man decides to take his hand out of his pocket with some bills, placing it in a jar that looks very similar to the one the old lady had earlier. A focusing shot shows that the jar is for a “community pet fund”. We as viewers feel a bit of hope that that small donation could be the small difference between allowing the woman to keep her kitty healthy.
0:22-0:24. a small exchange back and forth between the generous man and a seated male nurse affirms that the morally correct choice was made. A small nod and a couple of words, assures that maybe things will be alright. Our initial feelings of dread are replaced with respect and hope.
0:25. The cat is okay! A cone around her head hints that the mystery procedure has been performed. The audience can let out a huge sigh of relief. Not today, does tragedy make its mark on innocence.
0:26-0:30: The cat is (not to anyone’s surprise) right next to the old lady again, who now has her gleeful expression back. They are back on that same step, prepared for their business routine once again. In big text, the phrase “Be a Helper, Donate to Pet Care,” reminds us of the reason we feel so good on the inside instead of holding back pained tears. This call to action is replaced partially, with the “Be a Helper” remaining. This time, the call to action is to help by aiding in finding lost pets. Once more we are persuaded to help, this final time by doing the most noble action for lonely pets by fostering these animals. The video ends, leaving no room for us to second guess the message.
I think I was able to get a good sense of providing visuals but may be a little lacking in the rhetoric part. If you can get a sense of where my rhetoric analysis may be lacking that would be great.
Your Rhetorical analysis was handled brilliantly, Anon. In fact, you conclude more and share your impressions of what you’ve seen better than you describe what you’re seeing.
Your description of the sidewalk scene does not align with this viewer’s expectations.
I was surprised to see how lively, happily populated, and “green” the cityscape looked like after your description. Your focus on the sidewalk repairs is fascinating and well noted, but distracting. We might just disagree, but I didn’t see her section as a contrast to her neighborhood. One might wonder, too, if they followed your lead, where’d she come up with the money to do all that fancy hardscaping outside her house?
You didn’t seem to notice that the cat chooses the color yarn to use.
I also wonder if you spotted the odd motions the lady is making along the tabletop with her pencil while paying her bills. Is this an actor’s choice, to keep the cat’s focus during the shot? Or is it supposed to mean something rhetorically?
You don’t mention the clever “framing” techniques in the vet scene. We see the donor’s green shirt in the frame while we’re focused on the pair down the hall. That, and the direction of his gaze, helps us “place” the donor in the hallway and confirm that he’s looking at the concerned pet owner while deciding whether to donate to pet care. We see him again in the edge of the frame while we’re looking at the male nurse, again “placing” the donor exactly where we know he must be.
If you want grade improvement, a good choice is to add a Post-Audio Analysis to describe how much your appreciation for the ad changed (or didn’t) after listening to the audio track.
You could also analyze what producer choices worked particularly well, or which failed in any way to contribute to the central message.
Always eligible for Revisions and a Regrade.