Visual Argument- Brianne Waters

I used the video on Emergency Preparedness.

  • The entire video is split into two different scenes.
  • The two main characters wake up at 7:30, they must have somewhere to go. 
  • There is a man on each side, they look very similar, except the one on the left looks a little older than the one on the right.  
  • They both nonchalantly get ready for work. 
  • They both seem excited for the impending work day. 
  • As they both grab their keys, we see the man on the left has the sports page of his newspaper out, he must like sports. The guy on the left looks like he has bills to pay, which is probably why he’s going to work. 
  • As they leave, you see both have similar houses and routines. Are the two related somehow? Is the man on the left the future vision of the man on the right? Are they father and son? 
  • By the make of the car on the left, it seems that about the left side is about 20 years older than the right side. 
  • Both drive down the same streets, to the same building, to the same floor. Did the man on the right steal the man on the left’s job? 
  • Both are friendly to their coworkers. The man on the left seems to be having greater difficulties with the copier than his counterpart. 
  • They both go to a fast food place for lunch, so it seems that neither of them are very health-conscious. Unless they got a salad, but even then it was probably unhealthy. 
  • They both seemed extremely bored at meetings, making one believe that they are not good workers. 
  • They both leave work at the same time, and again take the same route home. Did either of the men realize they were being filmed? We still do not know their relation. 
  • Both men walk in the door and automatically get ready for bed. Apparently, neither of them need to eat dinner, so that fast food meal must have filled them. Also, they must not have any social life, they seem lonely. 
  • Each man does some light reading before bed. The man on the left reads a newspaper, while the one on the right reads an iPad. 
  • As the two men settle into the bed, text appears on the screen stating “On October 17th, 1989, the Bay Area was hit with the most devastating earthquake in nearly a century.  But the day before was just an ordinary day.” Does this mean that the footage on the left was all of a day in the life of a random man, which just happened to be the day before a major emergency? Did the man survive? Did he lose his house? Was he not prepared? 
  • Text then appears on the left side saying, “Like today.” This is a very powerful text. It empowers the message that a disaster can happen to anyone at anytime with two simple words. 
  • The screen then reads, “Today is the day before. Prepare for tomorrow.” This follow-up text to the “Like today” line gets the real message of preparedness to its viewers. The “Like today” text draws in the audience with the chilling reality of a sudden natural  disaster while the “Today is the day before. Prepare for tomorrow” text guides viewers to take action against this harsh reality of unexpected doom. 

This ad is very successful in getting its message of preparedness out to viewers. It shows how similar the day in the life of two men can be and therefore showing how similar the following day of each of their lives can be. Using text, the ad draws the audience in and gets each viewer to seriously think about how prepared they are for a natural disaster. Providing the link for a government website for preparedness helps viewers get take the necessary steps to get ready for any kind of natural disaster.

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2 Responses to Visual Argument- Brianne Waters

  1. davidbdale says:

    Nice work, Brianne! And thank you for posting a week early! (Yes, I know the assignment details say it’s due today. You weren’t in class on Tuesday when your classmates vetoed my deadline and put it off until “another day.” That day will be next Thursday. I really appreciate this post. We can use it in class today as another example of strong visual analysis. Thank you! 🙂

  2. davidbdale says:

    OK, feedback.

    • I like that you don’t build in your later understanding as you relate your impressions of the ad while it unfolds, Brianne. That’s hard to do once you know where the argument is headed.
    • At the fast food restaurant, the ballgame is on TV in the left screen (the 1989 screen).
    • That ipad (and the newer clock radio and other fixtures of the house and office) reinforces the 20-or-so-year time difference, right?
    • Again, your restraint is remarkable and admirable, Brianne. We really don’t know what to make of that first piece of text.
    • Well, of course we do wonder if the man on the right will suffer through an earthquake. But it pretty immediately becomes obvious that it barely matters whether the man on the left was killed or not. They’re both vulnerable to devastations that arrive completely without warning (during the World Series, for crying out loud! If you go back to that sports page, you’ll see the story is about Game 3.
    • I got crazy chills from the Like today. Didn’t you?
    • Yes, it’s scary. But no, it doesn’t mean we have to feel helpless. It does, however, make me wonder where I can go to get some strategies for coping with emergency.
    • I went directly to for helpful tips about preparing for emergencies in New Jersey. That last onscreen graphic gave me the address.
    • Doesn’t it more specifically mean that today gives no indication of tomorrow’s trouble, Brianne, so there’s no warning that you’ll need to be ready tomorrow? In other words, you’re already late planning for an emergency. What are you waiting for? A warning? 🙂

      Grade recorded.

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