I chose to analyze the Ad Council’s childhood obesity campaign in their “Blackout” video.
- The video opens with a visual of three adolescent boys animatedly playing video games in what seems to be a den or a living room. The lights are all on and the curtains are drawn, which leads the viewer to believe that it is nighttime. They point at the television screen a lot and yell things to each other, which insinuates that they’re probably playing a multi-player game in which they can all play on one team.
- Suddenly, the lights cut out, and disappointment spreads across their faces. They drop their heads into their hands or cover their eyes while throwing their heads back, illustrating their great frustration.
- They sit for a moment, staring around the room aimlessly until one boy gets up and opens the curtains, showing the viewer that it is actually a bright, sunny day outside and that these boys have been wasting the day playing video games inside. The boy who opened the curtains holds up a basketball and shrugs as he suggests they play, as if it was a last option and he has no better suggestions. The other boys agree and shrug as well as they get up from the couch.
- The shot momentarily switches to the three boys playing basketball outside, but then shifts back to a visual of the living room they had been playing video games in. The lights suddenly turn back on, and the camera switches to a shot of a mother turning the power switches back on, showing that the mother faked the electricity shortage in order to inspire the boys to get outside and moving.
- The final frame shown is that of the boys playing basketball outside again in front of the house. Then the promotional piece of the advertisement is flashed: the web address for letsmove.gov, the website for the government’s campaign against childhood obesity, fronted by Michelle Obama.