Thanksgiving Film Trailer Project

For our final project in NMAC 3145, we had to make a Thanksgiving themed film trailer. Since my family doesn’t really do Thanksgiving (it’s only the 6 of us in my immediate family and then an aunt, uncle, and cousin in my extended family) so I picked a theme that’s universal for even those who don’t actually celebrate Thanksgiving during the Thanksgiving week: Traffic!

The requirements were to make it look like a trailer as much as you could, to have layered audio, and for it to be Thanksgiving themed. I managed to do those things! I did mine in the style of a drama but so that it’s a spoof comedy, of sorts. The contents are humorous but when styled like a drama, it’s even funnier. Hopefully you guys think so, too!

(We were also supposed to have a script to turn in, and I’m not sure where exactly, so I’m just gonna put a read-more below the video and post it there. You guys can ignore that part!)

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Digital Media Marketing Analysis Assignment

This week in my NMAC 3145 class, we’ve been talking about effective advertising. We were tasked with choosing an ad campaign and analyzing why it is effective, what the audience it’s aiming for is, and what platforms they use for the campaign.

I decided to take a look at a reasonbly long-running campaign, the Dawn Saves Lives campaign. For the past decade, Dawn dish soap has sporadically highlighted that Dawn dish soap saves wildlife in the event of oil spills. Dawn dish soap is pretty much what we think about when we see people washing off oil-slicked ducks and seabirds, because Dawn is the only cleaning product that has long advertised their product as a savior of wildlife.

It’s harder to nail down what platforms are used by this ad campaign, because it has spanned from 2006 (only one year into the life of Youtube) until today with a highlight around the time of the BP oil spill. That year, there was an up-swing in the airing of the advertisements.

The commercial I’m sure we’re all familiar with is this one:

This commercial is effective because most everyone likes animals. Even if you don’t particularly care about the environment, most people see a little fuzzy baby duckling and goes ‘awwww’. A cute baby animal that is covered in oil being gently scrubbed with soft-looking bubbles is a great visual image to persuade people to pay attention to the ad and associate good things with this product because it’s not just a good thing, saving a baby animal, but it’s depicted in such a ‘warm and fuzzy’ manner. It seems more like the baby duck is getting a warm, bubbly bath to rid it of the icky, nasty oil than actually depicting the harm and suffering the duck was faced with before being cleaned off. It plays into the part of most people who naturally care about animals, babies, gentleness, and kindness to a soft baby duckling.

After that, it goes on to tell you that the company is going to donate a VERY LARGE sum of money to helping the wildlife and the environment (or so it’s implied) and it makes it so that, even if you weren’t already inspired to buy their product, you really want to buy it now that they are telling you YOUR money is going to help the baby animals.  It reinforces that idea by showing them releasing the rescued animals back into the wild.

Even now, I just caught myself thinking, ‘Wow, I should go buy some Dawn’ when I know it’s marketing manipulation.

Beyond that commercial, however, there is also the label on the bottle:

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The baby duck on the bottle is the same size as the logo, and the message “Dawn Helps Save Wildlife” is almost as big as the words on the logo. It is selling the idea of saving a baby duck more than it is washing your dishes, because what appeals more to people, doing dishes well or saving a baby duck?

Beyond the ad and the logo, you have coupon-looking ads online on websites in the sidebar and in pop-ups that look like this:

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The ad looks like a coupon and says “Save” but instead of having an actual coupon, it’s telling you that if you buy Dawn, you’re saving the baby animal. And once again, it’s fluffy baby animals because saving the sea urchins isn’t as appealing as saving a baby penguin, or a baby seal, or a baby duckling. These ads are the types that pop up on a blog article and you have to click the X to close them and continue reading, and while those ads mostly go ignored, some of us can’t help but pause and go ‘awww’ at the baby animal, and that’s when we see the “Dawn Saves Animals” advertisement.

Dawn’s social media accounts are all about the baby ducks!

Facebook (forgive the Pirate language, I just took a screenshot with my FB account logged in):

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Twitter:

Youtube:

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The Produce Website:

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It’s really hard to run a more useful campaign than one where you demonstrate a product saving very cute baby animals from death. It’s a harsh reality but a real one that many people don’t care nearly as much about other humans as they do about baby animals. Baby animals is one of the most universal ways to reach people’s emotional centers. It’s hard to face it, but even if they were cleaning the hospital rooms of orphan children with diseases with their product, it wouldn’t reach the same emotional appeal as fluffy, fuzzy, adorable baby animals.

And by showing their product cleaning the animals off, showing that their company gives back some of its profits to charities for the animals, and by showing actual animals that have been saved being released back into the wild, it proves to be what I would argue is one of the most effective advertising campaigns probably to ever exist.

A Day In The Life of Me: A Learning Experience In Cellphone Videography

In my NMAC 3145 class, we were tasked with making a short ‘intro to you’ video with a camera you own, meaning for most of us, our cellphone cameras. Now, having never used a cellphone to film anything that wasn’t going on Instagram of Snapchat, I was not super sure of myself in this one, and it shows.

I’m not the best cinematographer with a professional camera, nonetheless with a Samsung Galaxy S5 that I bought refurbished because I’m too poor to buy a newer phone, but I’m not entirely disappointed with my finished product.

My biggest issue was trying to film myself with my phone. I had only my own arm-length to use. I tried propping it up, but other than in my car, where there are softer surfaces that allow for propping more easily without sliding, it was very difficult. I had wanted to include some video of me doing yoga, since I am a yoga lover, but not a single place in my home has enough room to lay out my mat and prop my phone somewhere that it can film me.

Also, as you can see, I did not know that filming with the phone upright would make it do the vertical black bars thing. On Snapchat and Instagram, that’s how you film. Also, on the phone screen itself, if yo turn it on it’s side, THEN it has black bars.

All in all, it was a very good learning experience that I would love to try again some time with a different subject than myself so that I can film a lot better than just from arm-length.

Do you guys have any experience in cellphone videography? Be sure to comment and tell me how well it has worked out for you!