Draft Version of First Second
0:00-0:01 Ad opens on a porcelain tea-kettle in the shape of a cat’s head, mostly white but with blue on the outside of the head, brush strokes made to look like hair and small blue flowers on the spout and top of the kettle. The cat’s eyes have been given a more human look, seemingly looking up at its’s holder as if to say my contents are good. It has a small, round pink nose and thin pink lips. The cat is being held buy a well manicured hands, the holder must have just left the nail salon. The background is distorted as to not distract us from the kettle cat. But you can make out a possible shelf with other small items. The overall image is bright and clean.
[I’ve highlighted some grammar and punctuation problems, Username.]
That’s a beautiful description of an opening image, Username. I wonder now what you conclude from looking at it. The trick of the Visual Rhetoric is two-fold. 1) Describe the Visual; 2) Explain the Rhetoric.
That tea-kettle is SOMEBODY’S taste. Perhaps not yours or mine.
- To admirers, it’s a find.
- To the vast majority of viewers, it’s an object of amusement at best, scorn at worst.
We don’t want to judge the person who is lovingly handling it, but we do wonder what they could possibly find desirable about it. Does any of that cross your mind when you watch the first second?
SOMETHING crossed your mind. Whatever that SOMETHING is that presented itself to your consciousness IS THE RHETORICAL VALUE of the image.
- Is this a thrift store item?
- Is the admirer trying to save money on housewares?
- Or is it an antique item that might be worth thousands of dollars (not more desirable per se, perhaps, but maybe a good investment).
Those newly-manicured nails.
- Do they say: “I shop at thrift stores so I can afford expensive manicures”?
- Or do they say: “I can afford both expensive manicures and costly antiques”?
- Or do they say: “I do my own nails so I can afford to shop wherever I want”?
The odds are pretty good this is not an ad for kitty-kettles, so there’s something other than a commercial message being delivered in this first second.
The director did EVERYTHING for a reason. Why did she make these first-second choices?
Please comment below if you now understand the two components of the Visual Rhetoric Task.