Sunday, November 21, 2010


Economic and technological forces are bridging cultures, blurring their differences as nations share a common market and media, same time technological advancements diminishes their distance from each other, creating a global community.
In a perfect world, every culture and nation in the world would contribute in equal measure to the global community, however there is no such thing as a perfect world and as we know there are economic and technological differences among nations that we have to consider.
Developing countries find it more difficult to compete with power nations at an economic level, not to mention the digital divide as not every country has the adequate infrastructure to produce, maintain and export their own media, thus an imbalance occurs, where countries have a greater cultural influence towards the global community as they overpower developing countries, both financially and in media production and distribution. It is this imbalance that is defined as cultural imperialism.
Let’s look at the film industry as an example. Hollywood productions have overshadowed any other film industry in the world. America exports its films around the world expecting a huge profit knowing well that few non-American productions can beat it. Most other countries find it difficult to maintain a film industry, some nations for example rely on government subsidizes and grants to produce films, in order to keep up, not to mention the fact that many film artists, and I’m talking about actors, directors, cinematographers, editors etc… from other countries tend to migrate towards the US and make movies financed by American studios and distributed for a mass commercial audience. Thus we can say that there exists an imbalance in the flow of films, where the US holds a cultural empire against most other film industries.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Powerful and Persuasive ad

This is an ad from a work-safe campaign; similar to anti-smoking ads the intent is to shock you into awareness. Since these types of campaigns need to make a very important point they usually go for the shock factor as it is believed to be a great way to grab somebody’s attention or as they say to get your foot in the door. In this campaign what is being stressed is the importance of participation and involvement of employees in making their work place safe and avoiding accidents.
The poster features a young and healthy looking man staring directly at you. The background is out of focus but he seems to be in his workplace where surely heavy machinery is operated. The man has his left arm rested on a steel surface. His expression is somber, serious, and his left hand is missing. His left hand was cut above the wrist, what remains are scars and his exposed bone covered up by a thin skin, evidence of a painful accident.
In bold white letters superimposed over his chest reads: “I was new and afraid to ask.”
The tagline on the bottom reads: “It doesn’t hurt to speak up.”
I felt that this was a very powerful ad. It forces upon the viewer through shock and pain. The poster makes great use of visuals and texts to create meaning. The man’s serious face and eyes jump out of the poster and are embedded in your eyes. You feel the young man looking at you, as if through his eyes you can understand an unspoken message. The quote underneath articulates it for you. His relaxed posture shows that he is approaching you friendly and in no way is talking down on you or in any way threatening; he is merely relaxed as a friend of yours would relax next to you and talk to you about his day. Yet amongst his relaxedness and seriousness he has this terrible looking scar in the foreground almost like pointing it at you. Surely the visceral quality of the wound is enough to grab you attention nevertheless the tagline for the campaign is written underneath and it reminds you that speaking up does not hurt but rather the accident that the scar implies must have created enormous physical as well as emotional pain.
This advertising appeals to our need of safety. Like I mentioned before similar to anti-smoking ads these posters work towards bettering life whether it does by decreasing the consumption of cigarettes or by creating safety awareness and encouraging asking questions and speaking up.
This ad exemplifies this appeal because of it very purpose, to shock you and make you consider the difference you can make if you ask questions. It can save lives, hands etc… It appeals to people that are perhaps shy to ask questions, it appeals to employers who feel that in order to avoid work related accidents they should encourage employees to ask more questions or provide them with more information.