Visual Rhetoric- gabythefujoshi

0:00-0:01

From the first frame we see red puppet that resembles Elmo, but with a brown bread and hair. Their wearing a blue, button down shirt with gold-colored stripes. The shirt reminds me of a typical dad shirt which I believe to be done on purpose to let the audience know he is a dad. Elmo’s dad is staring straight at the camera, showing that he is giving the audience his attention and is asserting a serious aura, that he has something important to say.

The background is mint green and the doors is a dark teal. These are colors that aren’t normally used in the bedroom of a parent, they are more bright. Also, there is a shelf with books, a doll, and rocket ship toys in the background. There are stars on the left side of the frame and in the middle behind the dad, is a poster of space. All these little details are meant to depict a child’s room, establishing within the first second that this Ad is meant for children. Also, the director may have added the elements of space to get kids interested astronomy or because they personally enjoyed space themed rooms. All this is done at the 0:00 frame.

At 0:01, I noticed Elmo’s dad angled his head to the right side of the frame, He started out looking straight at us, but he changes his direction. He also has his mouth open, ready to say something. Also, his hand is against his chest, around where his heart is. The posture here perhaps is to imply of his kind heart, given that has his hand on his heart. Also perhaps averting the straight on gaze may mean that what is about to be said is something hard to say.

One last thing to note is that the background music is a ballad like tone that is played in ads with serious topics.

With the puppet and child designed room, it gives off a kid-friendly atmosphere, but with the serious music and gaze, it establishes that his message is to be taken seriously.

0:02-0:04

While Elmo’s dad is talking about how school is a lot different nowadays, he is looking down as the serious music is playing in the background. I believe this was done on purpose to invoke a sorrowful or downhearted emotion. Many kids can relate to this situation that Elmo’s dad is describing so seeing the ad makes viewers connect on a personal level.

0:05-0:13

Suddenly, after the mode has been melancholic and serious about the changes of the learning system, Elmo appears. Elmo, everyone loves him, and he is joyfully explaining the importance of wearing a mask while staying apart from his friends. His mask is also quite colorful, with trucks on it, which would appeal to kids who are on edge about wearing them. I feel the director intentionally changed the mood with the arrival of Elmo because he is a beloved character and kids get excited seeing them on screen. In a way, it’s manipulating the audience’s emotions by associating COVID regulations with a kids show puppet. The mindset is, if Elmo is doing it and telling us to wear masks, then it’s what we’ll do. Also, in making the mask look colorful and fun, kids will be more inclined to wear it.

0:13-0:20

Elmo’s dad agreeing to what Elmo said is a form of positive reinforcement as well as a parenting method to encourage children when they have done something admirable. The reinforcement to the viewers that wearing masks and staying six feet apart is something positive and will gain praise. Another form of asserting that these regulations are a positive thing is when Elmo is looking at his dad and nods his head when his father is speaking, agreeing with what he is saying. Elmo’s dad also points his finger upward in the direction of the viewer as a cue to remember what he is saying because it is important. They both take a breath, a way to show they are both relaxed, making also the audience relaxed.

0:20-0:30

“We’re all in this together.” This line is that has been oversaturated in media, but it’s a line that gets the point across, both exclamatory and reassuring. It sets a common ground to a shared problem that everyone around the world has. It’s an inoffensive line which was delivered for this reason. Parents would want this kind of message to be pushed to their kids, so parents would be more inclined to let their kids watch this advertisement. Also, both Elmo and his dad laughing together at the end when he says it’s time for school at home gives off a friendly mood. Both of them laughing while looking at each other also adds to the friendly and uplifting atmosphere of the scene.

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1 Response to Visual Rhetoric- gabythefujoshi

  1. davidbdale says:

    From the first frame we see A red puppet that resembles Elmo, (IN WHAT WAY? HOW CAN YOU TELL YOU’RE NOT LOOKING AT TWO ELMO’S?) but with a brown BEARD and hair. HE’S wearing a blue, button-down shirt with gold stripes. The shirt reminds me of a typical dad shirt, which I believe WAS done on purpose to let the audience know he is a dad. (HIS SIMILARITY TO ELMO WOULD FURTHER INDICATE HE MIGHT BE ELMO’S DAD.) Elmo’s dad is staring straight at the camera, showing that he is giving the audience his attention and is asserting a serious aura, that he has something important to say.

    The background is mint green (BACKGROUND INDOORS OR OUTDOORS? ARE THE WALLS MINT GREEN, OR THE FOREST?) and the doors ARE a dark teal. These are colors that aren’t normally used in the bedroom of a parent, they are more bright (LEADING US TO CONCLUDE WE MIGHT BE SEEING ELMO AND HIS DAD IN ELMO’S BEDROOM). FURTHER EVIDENCE THAT WE’RE IN ELMO’S ROOM is the shelf with books, a doll, and rocket ship toys in the background. There are stars on the left side of the frame and in the middle behind the dad, is a poster of space. All these little details are meant to depict a child’s room, establishing within the first second that this Ad is meant for children. Also, the director may have added the elements of space to get kids interested astronomy or because they personally enjoyed space themed rooms. All this is done at the 0:00 frame.

    Very nice work, GabyTheFujoshi. You don’t mention that Elmo is a Muppet, famous to all children who have ever watched Sesame Street. His appearance makes this opening frame a CELEBRITY ENDORSEMENT of whatever message will now be delivered. Elmo has enormous credibility with kids, and most adults love his always positive, ebullient personality. Nothing further needs to be done to get the attention of kids and prepare them to learn a lesson than to enlist Elmo AND HIS DAD!? I’ve never seen HIS DAD before! In all likelihood, this PSA would appear during commercial breaks for OTHER SHOWS, so that the sudden appearance of Muppets on a kid’s TV would make her wonder if she’s suddenly watching Sesame Street.

    Don’t assume that these observations go without saying. Your job as THE ONLY PERSON WATCHING THIS VIDEO is to tell your readers, who don’t have the benefit of seeing what you’re seeing exactly what’s on screen and WHY it’s on screen.

    If these notes on the first frame are helpful, apply them the the rest of the video. This assignment will become part of your Portfolio.

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