Encouragement — Pass it On!

For this assignment, I chose an advertisement for a campaign that isn’t as a classic campaign – Foundation for a Better Life. Foundation for a Better Life is not a “classic” campaign in the fact that they are not trying to gain something for themselves, but to encourage people to gain things for themselves – encouragement, respect, gratitude. The particular television advertisement of theirs that I chose is titled “Concert”, which uses the theme of encouragement. In the commercial, a mother and father are at a professional piano recital but cannot find their young son. All of a sudden Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star starts to play, and the curtains open to reveal their son at the piano, slowly pressing the keys to the song. The parents are embarrassed, whispering to one another to go and get him. However, before they do, the pianist set to perform comes up behind the boy, whispers “don’t stop”, and plays with him; the crowd loves it and the parents are proud. At the end, the pianist smiles and tells the boy “good job!”, and a voice-over for the commercial says “Encouragement – pass it on! A message from the Foundation for a Better Life”.

                I believe the Foundation for a Better Life to be an indoctrination campaign. This campaign seeks to encourage people to become better people; to share values (such as hope, respect, and gratitude) and to change their ways. I do not believe that this campaign touches the (for lack of better term) “darker side” of an indoctrination campaign – there is no brainwashing, merely an effort to educate their viewers and to adopt a different view on life. I also believe that this campaign is in its promotional stage, as it is still pushing to promote and spread its message to the world. However, due to the actual nature of this campaign, I believe that for the entirety of its existence, Foundation for a Better Life will always be in the promotional stage of its campaign, because that is exactly what it was created to do – promote that idea to inspire others. If there were no need for these messages to be heard – if everyone was already taking hope and encouragement and gratitude and “passing it on”, Foundation for a Better Life would have no purpose, because they are literally there to promote a better life.

                The message of the particular “Concert” advertisement is extremely and successfully persuasive in its goal. It takes a scenario which would be a highly embarrassing situation for any parent – and a situation that non-parent viewers would recognize as embarrassing – and turned it into something inspirational. While it could be argued that the intended audience would be parents of small children, as those are the characters portrayed. However, I feel that the intended audience is actually any viewer and any person that viewer talks about the commercial with. Beneath the surface, the commercial contains a scenario that essentially shows someone who is successful at something faced with someone who is yet not – that successful person could take the opportunity to scorn the non-successful person and essentially dash their hopes for that dream. However, in this commercial, the successful person takes the opportunity to instead encourage the non-successful, hence the ending phrase, “encouragement, pass it on”. Any person watching this would be able to not only connect with either person in the scenario, but also be able to take the intention of that message (to pass on encouragement) and apply it to any similar situation in their life. For this advertisement for this message by this campaign, I do not feel that it is in need of any improvement; rather, I wish they would take this exact same message and apply to multiple scenarios, just so it would be clear to all viewers that it can apply to any and all persons in any and all cases.

-Britney Carter

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