Posts Tagged ‘comedy’

When Punchlines fall short

May 8, 2014

I found this video interesting but ultimately unsuccessful. Watching the girl go through her life was heartbreaking, made more so, by her narration. The repetition of the line “I didn’t cry” is really effective at punctuating her pain but also reminding us of her pride and resilience in the face of the horrors she faces.  I felt the punchline which is really the call to action just falls flat. After all she’s gone through, is her biggest problem really she doesn’t have water? I guess maybe…, I don’t know, but it moves the video from an emotional appeal to a rational one, suddenly I’m thrust into the position of having to judge whether water is at the level of child marriage or your mother is a prostitute, that’s not really the level Water is Life wants to be operating.

Frankly I’m not sure if this ad is motivating at all. There’s so much wrong with the poor girl’s life, how is fixing one thing going to make it right, it feels so daunting, that you just want to give up.

This video from Save the Children takes another tact. It tried to use humor and surprise to get your attention (as opposed to Water is Life which just uses shock value).  The punchline here is more effective, but I found myself distracted because I was feeling sorry for the models. It felt like they were being punked, and I shared their discomfort rather than engaging with their message.  That’s where this video falls short, I can’t transfer my discomfort with the execution to being upset about the facts they’re presenting. The message is clear, but the emotions are muddied.

I think something both these videos show is the importance of the punchline. Both these videos depend on their punchline to deliver their message and their emotion, but they both fall short because the punchline doesn’t connect with what came before either emotionally or in terms of message.



How to make the same old, different

September 24, 2010

I think this ad from the DCCC is pretty well executed. Outsourcing is an issue that seems to be popping up in a lot of races across the country.  So, it’s harder and harder to make an ad about outsourcing that distinguishes itself from the rest.  I thought it was an interesting execution, that doesn’t look like other ads, but I also appreciate the fact that it’s tone is whimsical without being flip.

Good work.

Play the reality

August 31, 2010

This is almost a good ad.  I like the concept at the open, but I don’t like the woman playing the “voter.” Maybe that’s my problem with her, she’s “playing” a voter, she’s so over the top, that the reality of the spot is lost. If she played the reality of the absurd moment, choosing a politician on a game show like the dating game, rather than playing the absurdity of the moment, I would like the spot better.  If she anchored me in the real, then I could suspend my disbelief for the surreal.

Also because she’s so over the top, when she reappears at the end with Lynch, I find the moment totally phoney.

I’m not sure about the cutting to Lynch either.  I guess I’m not sure if I believe he’s really fed up etc or if he’s just reading off a teleprompter.

Still, pretty good effort, and I think the ad might do a good job of framing the race, even if it’s not as effective as it could be.

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