Each day we go about our lives without rethinking the repercussions that could arise from our routine actions. Roughly, over 8 people are killed and 1,150 are injured each day from vehicular crashes involving a distracted driver (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). “New research from AT&T shows nearly 4-in-10 smartphone users tap into social media while driving. Almost 3-in-10 surf the net. And surprisingly, 1in-10 video chat (AT&T). ” “7-in-10 people engage in smartphone activities while driving (AT&T). ” “A recent AT&T survey found that 97 percent of teens say they know that texting is dangerous.
The survey also found: 75 percent of teens surveyed say that texting while driving is “common” among their friends; Almost all teens (89 percent) expect a reply to a text or email within five minutes or less; And 77 percent of teens report seeing their parents text while driving (AT&T). ” AT&T’s new commercial shows us the extremity of a split second wreck by rewinding the crash in slowmotion, which instills fear into viewers. AT&T’s ad utilizes rhetorical appeals and features in order to reach the heart of viewers, the company’s main objective was to make the audience aware of the consequences of using their phones while driving.
The ad applied many rhetorical devices such as pathos, sound, volume, background, diction and mood. Then they reinforce the whole purpose of their ad by stating, “No post, glance, email, search, or text is worth a life. ” AT&T is a global company that supplies mobile services and internet. It first launched its “It Can Wait” initiative on March 8, 2010. This company started the program with the intent to raise awareness toward the liability of texting while driving. They have tried to reach the public through print, radio, TV and online dvertising. Furthermore, AT&T started a Facebook and Twitter page for others to join their initiative by pledging, which states that they won’t use their phone while driving. Lastly, they also offer an app on the phone to simulate the effect of looking at your phone while driving; the app can also shut off all functions on the phone when it senses the owner driving. The company now focuses not only on texting and driving, but also the use of social media. Pathos was the main rhetorical strategy for this ad.
It was used in order to generate a response out of the audience and make them rethink their behavior; because, most people reach for their phone while driving almost obliviously – completely carefree. In this advertisement, AT&T’s intention is to make the audience form an emotional attachment to the characters that were portrayed. They create a bond between the characters and the viewers by illustrating the relationships of each character through narration. In the middle of the ad, AT&T presents all of the characters showing a family relation between mother-and-daughter and husband-and-wife.
It makes you reflect back to your family or someone you value. AT&T draws from this bond to keep the viewers off guard for the crash to come. This strategy helps the producers of the video heighten Solomon’s shock-producing approach. Once you’ve become emotionally attached to the characters played, the ad blindsides the audience with a devastating crash. The crash demonstrated in the video forces you to think back to when you picked up your phone or when you selfishly endangered the lives of someone you love. The narration held between the husband and wife over the phone exemplifies the bond the ad was trying to portray.
Sarcasm/Humor was incorporated between the two character’s conversations, which embodies the daily consultations of any couple. We also hear that the husband leaves work early to see his son’s game. Some of the viewers could relate to how their child feels when the parent comes to see their game, especially when the parent rarely has time to make an appearance. The other narration illustrated was motherhood. No other relation is bigger than the one that a mother and child shares. AT&T’s newest ad also uses humanism to challenge the nature of the human population. Are we born naturally good or bad?
Many scientists have argued back and forth over this conspiracy. Is our impulsive behavior selfish or selfless? We may not be able to think about all of the selfish choices we make by picking up our phone, but the video points out the consequences we are now aware of. The ad makes us reassess our decisions from here on out. The answer is obvious, which is to stop using your phone while driving. We tend to make excuses such as saying we are experienced drivers, I’m fast at texting, or nothing bad has ever happened before. People who’ve done it before tend to form a habit of doing it again the next time.
This is the result of negative reinforcement; nothing happened the last time, so they think it’s okay to do the same. The “Close to Home” ad has a well build up and background play. The producers of the video introduced six characters that played in the commercial; it included a child on a bicycle, a mother and her daughter, a man speaking to his wife over the phone, and a woman watering the grass. The characters played a role of showing normalcy of a neighborhood day. AT&T nicely catches the viewers off guard by the customary routines of the neighborhood community.
Customary routines such as a woman watering the grass, kid riding on his bicycle down the road, mother going to run an errand, etc. This feeling of normalcy comes to a halt after the mother looks at the recent post she just made public and gets into a disturbing crash. At the time of the crash, the volume was intensified and the background noise was muted. This technique allows the audience to experience the catastrophe of a wreck. It also magnifies Solomon’s shock-producing strategy. This strategy is used in this ad to scare the audience, so they never decide to pick up their phone while driving.
Then, the video is rewind to show every episode of the split second crash. The reactions of the bystanders are also captured on the rewind to add show how powerful and devastating the crash sounds to the people around. The commercial was nicely structured to give the full impact of the product. The wreck was reversed back to the mother receiving the message on the phone, however she does not look down this time. Then they play off of the rewind, to bolster their catchphrase “No post, glance, email, search, or text is worth a life. ” AT&T’s intended audience for this commercial was for the populist.
There were no signs of any elitist attributes. AT&T made its target the populist group because they wanted to show that it can happen to anyone. Nobody is safe when using their phone while driving. It can happen to anyone ranging from any age set. AT&T’s use of an adult driver in the ad, draws away from the stereotypical blame placed on teenagers for texting and driving. Even though most of the teenagers use their phones while driving, so do other age factions. The mood of the ad “Close to Home,” gave off a calm and peaceful atmosphere throughout the ad. The sun was brightly shimmering over the neighborhood and the grass was green.
The yellow texture of the sun gave the neighborhood a warm and cozy view. The color green is also proven to give off a calm and natural condition. In the beginning of the ad, a boy rides his bike down to the neighborhood, a mother goes to run an errand with her daughter, a man is driving while talking to his wife over the phone, and a woman is watering her grass. These series of events allude to the normalcy and calm situation demonstrated in the commercial. The producers of the ad create an illusion of a perfect neighborhood to divert the audience from expecting a crash to develop.
The structure of the video was laid out to produce Solomon’s “Masters of Desire” shock-producing strategy. The mood was creatively utilized to surprise the audience in a disturbed manner. The ad employed an unexpected shift in the middle of the video. The ad shifted from the calm mood, to the loud and destructive scene of the vehicular crash. Its sudden shift instills shock and fear into the viewers. The creators of the commercial wanted to demonstrate that taking your eyes off the road could lead to a vehicular crash at any moment.
In addition, the producers backtracked the crash in slow-motion, which allowed the audience to see every angle of the crash. At the end of the video, AT&T delivers its final message saying “No post, glance, email, search, or text is worth a life. ” This statement sums up the overall message AT&T was trying drill into each and every viewer from the beginning of the video. After watching the whole video, you capture the entirety of the message that was displayed. Ask yourself, “Do you want to end your life for a meek glance at your phone? ” Overall, the ad contained a good buildup to send AT&T’s message towards the audience.
It makes you contemplate over your future decisions on mobile usage while driving. AT&T’s use of pathos reaches out to the audience to emotionally sway them to think before they reach for their phone next time. AT&T wanted to give the audience a video that they will never dismiss from mind. The use of pathos was more impactful than using either ethos or logos. AT&T wanted the audience to emotionally feel the message they were trying to convey rather than to think logically. The only question left to ask yourself is, “Is your life worth the text/glance? “