Visual Rhetoric–Thokeca

Not Complicated – Project Yellow Light | Texting and Driving Prevention | Ad Council

0:00. The ad begins pointed straight at the feet of presumably an adult on the black pavement of a road. The adult is wearing sneakers and jeans. Before any sort of pause, the camera quickly pans up to the adult’s face across his entire body. This adult is actually a white teenage male, wearing a black tee shirt and glasses with a white truck and a suburban house in the background. This implies that the teenager is in a suburban neighborhood, common for a lot of families with teenagers. The teenager wears an expression that implies seriousness with a bit of suspicion, as his eyes are slightly narrowed at the camera. The camera pauses on his face for a moment before he says something, seemingly having a joking tone as he moves exaggeratedly as he talks.

0:03. The teenager gets into the white truck quickly and the camera points straight at the oil gauge, which is pointed straight at the center of the gauge at 40. The camera waits at the oil gauge for a moment before changing to the speedometer for only a short second, the needle pointed at 0. Then, the camera is switched to the tachometer, which is also located at 0 due to the car not yet being turned on.

0:05. The camera then is faced at the teenager, whose eyes are wide as he says something to the camera, nodding his head as he speaks. This indicates that he might be excited, or saying something in anticipation for driving. The camera then switches to the list of gears, switching around the different gears, starting at drive and ending in neutral.

0:07. A hand is shown pulling a lever on the side of a material that looks similar to that of the seating of the truck. The teenager is then abruptly shown falling backwards as the back of his chair falls backwards. The same hand is shown pulling the same lever and the teenager returns back to sitting position. He speaks into the camera, seemingly amused by going up and down on his seat.

0:09. Suddenly, the camera changes and the underside of the hood of a car is shown, the bar placed into it to hold it up by the same hand used in the other motions, which is assumed to be the teenager’s hand. The camera then changes to under the hood, and the teenager pulls a handle out of the engine. He is then shown holding a metal rod with a rag and a smug look on his face as he speaks and nods to the camera.

0:11. The teenager then leans on the side of the truck near the front of the hood, talking as he taps his fingers on a metal object under the hood. The camera then focuses on the metal object for a moment after he tapped his fingers, the teenager still leaning on the truck in the foreground. His body language indicates that he is speaking about something he knows about, and specifically the metal object in the car.

0:13. The scene then changes to the teenager standing next to the smaller truck, slowly walking forwards as the camera moves backwards. He speaks towards the camera, still wearing an expression that implies knowledge. This carries on for a few more seconds.

0:17. The camera is now focused to something in the foreground, and a phone is quickly lifted into view. The phone is an iPhone, and has apps similar to what would be seen on an iPhone: Settings, MyList, People, Camera, Chat/SMS, Maps, Player, Browse. Below the list of apps are three notifications: “There’s a super-cool video you need to watch RIGHT NOW !!” “Somebody posted about something you said somewhere – and you won’t believe what they said !!!” and “You have 384 unread broadcasts CLICK HERE TO CATCH UP.” These notifications aren’t something most would see on an actual iPhone, but are meant as an exaggerated version of a distraction that would be present on a phone.

0:19. As the camera remains focused on the phone, something on the phone fades into the screen, which is a circular photo of a man with his thumbs up with a caption that says “Uncle Greg!” Underneath the photo and caption are two circles, a green circle with a thumbs up inside with a caption of “Accept ?” and a red circle with a thumbs up inside with a caption of “Guilt ?” The camera then changes to include both the teenager and the phone in view as the teenager says something towards the camera, nodding.

0:21. The camera then switches to look at the front pocket of the teenager, where he fumbles with the phone to stow it away in his pocket. It switches back to look at him as he speaks towards the camera once more, seemingly concerned.

0:24. The camera focuses back on the pocket of the teenager, where he rests his hand over his phone. Text covers the screen in front of the teenager, saying “Stay safe put your distractions away! It’s not that complicated.” The words “Stay safe” and “complicated” are larger and in yellow text, indicating its importance. The scene then fades to black, the advertisement over.


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