Visual Argument – Dale Hamstra

  • I chose an ad on Stroke Awareness.
  • The ad opens up by showing to people in what seems to be a library, or some type of public place. This is to send the message that a stroke can happen anywhere.
  • It then zooms in on the face of one man, who turns and smiles but then shows concern. At this point you understand that he realizes something is wrong with whoever he is looking at.
  • The ad then shows a man with an arrow through his chest, and his facial expressions and hand gestures convey the message that he thinks its no big deal. At this point I understood that the ad was not about other people ignoring someone who is showing stroke like symptoms, but about the person who is experiencing them ignoring them.
  • Next, a second person chimes in and asks if the person is ok, and asks another question as well. This shows that more than just one person notices and it is the entire population, of this room anyway.
  • It then shows him shrugging his shoulders and again saying he is fine before walking away. This reiterates the fact that he is ignoring that he is not ok.
  • The ad ends by saying “Sudden numbness of face arm or leg. Sudden trouble speaking seeing or walking.” “Call 911” These are the common symptoms of a stroke.
  • Adding in the audio does not ad much to the ad. It allows you to know everything that they say, however, I was able to guess pretty accurately what they were saying without the sound.

This ad is very effective in sending its message. It uses the comparison of the arrow to show how obvious the signs of stroke are, and people still tend to ignore them. It also shows that other people notice that something is wrong, and they also make it clear that it is not just one person that is taking an interest. It is both people in the room, I believe this is supposed to mean that the whole rest of the population notices. However, the person who has the arrow stuck in them still refuses to acknowledge that anything is wrong and ends up just walking away.

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1 Response to Visual Argument – Dale Hamstra

  1. davidbdale says:

    This is good, Dale. I like the observation that two people represent “the whole population” with the exception of the stroke victim. That’s clever. I learned from the text accompanying the ad that it’s specifically targeted at African-American viewers since they’re 5 times as likely to suffer a first stroke than white Americans. I didn’t guess that race was an essential component of the ad, but apparently it was. I wonder if you think there’s any significance to the activity the arrow victim is engaged in while he’s ignoring that he’s been shot. I think it’s important.
    Provisional grade recorded.

    GRAMMAR NOTE (if I may; not that you could stop me):
    It then zooms in one of the peoples faces who turns and smiles, but then shows concern.
    You tie yourself into a knot here, Dale. English has serious trouble with these “one of the people’s faces” constructions. Are we talking about people with multiple faces? They get really messy, so avoid them when you can.
    It then zooms in on the face of one man, who turns and smiles but then shows concern.

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