Visual Rhetoric-aeks123


In the very beginning, one man opens a garage door to let himself and a workout partner into a gym of some sort. The man who opened the door seems to be the top performer, and the center of our attention. The ad then shows the same middle[-]aged white men side by side on their knees.  Both appear to be pushing heavy exercise equipment forward. Each man is gripping two black bars and seem[s] to be struggling while pushing. [Each is singular and requires a singular verb, like “is,” and like “seems.”]

The back[g]round is blurred for the most part. A white wall with a few white vents can barely be made out; therefore, the men are inside.

The video has a diagonal point of view, so one man is closer to the screen than the other. Since it is set up this way, we can assume the ad wants us to focus on this man, making him the main character. This man is wearing a cut-off shirt. You can tell how hard he is working at pushing this piece of equipment by the muscles popping out in his right arm, the arm that is closest to the screen. He has a look of focus in his blue eyes, and his mouth is closed[,] which also gives him a calm look. He is a clean[-]cut man with brown hair that is styled to one side. [“That” is for restrictive clauses, while “which” is for non-restrictive clauses. “That” does not require a comma; “which” does.” Look these up. They’re very valuable.]

Similar to our main character, the man in the back is wearing a cut-off. The two cut-offs are almost identical. He’s also wearing athletic shorts.  His facial expression is quite different than the other man’s. He is obviously struggling more. He is holding his breath since his cheeks are puffed up with air. He’s squinting and the veins on the side of his head are visible. His muscles are showing, but he doesn’t appear as toned as the other man. This man also has a beard, and has his hair tied in a bun. From the appearance of the two men, the directors probably want us to think that our character has his life more put-together. [Very nice.]


In this frame, we see our man character, but this time he isn’t with the other man we saw in the first second. He is no longer working out. He is now in an office with three other people who are all dressed business professionally. There is a wooden door that is open, which usually means people are welcome to come in. Behind him on the wall are three gold decorations that have a circular center with lines attached. One of the decorations is bigger than the other two, which could possibly indicate that our main character is supposed to be more important than the other two workers. There is nothing else particularly fancy in the office.

Our main character is wearing a button-up collared shirt with the sleeves rolled halfway up his arm. He is the only one standing at a wooden table, so we assume he’s the one in charge at the meeting. He is looking down and pointing at a piece of paper on the table. The other two people in the office are sitting down on either side of him, and seem to be paying close attention to what he has to say.

The man sitting on his right a black middle[-]aged man, with dark hair and a dark mustache. He has his laptop open in front of him with his hands on the keyboard, but has his attention focused on the piece of paper on the table. He is dressed a little bit more professional[ly], with a suit jacket over his button-up shirt. [The coordinating conjunctions (for, and, nor, but, or, yet, and so) require a comma only when there’s a new subject in the second clause. If your sentence said “He has his laptop open, but HE has his attention focused elsewhere,” a comma would be required.]

On his other side there is woman who we can only see from the side. We can’t really see the expression on her face, but her hair is down and straight, and she is also dressed in work clothes. She has an Ipad on a stand that’s open but is pointing at the same piece of paper.

What’s most intriguing about this frame of the video is a man who’s leaning in the doorway of the office. He looks a little bit younger by the clothes he is wearing. He’s holding some kind of electronic in his hand—most likely a cell phone. He’s holding it up pressed to his chest, so he is probably on hold with someone. His mouth is slightly open, and his smirk shows that he is eager to say something.


At this part, the camera is zoomed in on the man who was standing in a doorway. The cell phone that was in his hand is no longer there and is now at his ear. He is holding up a large notepad filled with loose-leaf paper. On the front page of the notepad there are large letters written in black marker that take up the whole paper. It reads, “WE LANDED THE ACCOUNT!” It is now clear that he is on the phone with the person who landed the account for the company. We can now see this man close up. He is looking at eye level, so he is only concerned with sharing the information with our main character, which again emphasizes that our main character is in charge. Since this man didn’t say the information out loud, he probably didn’t want the other two workers to hear. Maybe our main character is the boss of the company, and the rest of the workers weren’t supposed to know this information yet. The man who held up the paper has a smirk on his face in and his eyes are squinted, so he seems excited about relaying this information.


There now seems to be a trend going on in the ad. We see [We’ve seen] our character in multiple settings within just a few seconds of the video, so things are developing very quickly. This time he’s in a bar/club setting. The camera is again zoomed in[,] so it’s hard to tell much about where exactly he is. We can only see him from about his neck up. He is leaning on something, probably a bar, and is sitting down. A few bright lights are blurred shining in the back, leading us to believe he is in some sort of club. He has a glass up to his mouth that is half full of some kind of beer.

Both of his eyes are glancing over to a white woman who [is] sitting closely next to him. She’s also holding a glass that’s a little bit less full than his. Her face is barely in our view, but we can make out that she is smiling at something with her mouth slightly open. She’s looking down into her drink, which almost makes it look like she is laughing at her drink. We don’t know if these two people are friends, strangers, or maybe even relatives. The man is holding his drink with his left hand, which has no ring on it, so these two definitely aren’t married. If they are at club, it’s most likely that they’ve never met before.


The woman is no longer visible in this frame. The camera is zoomed and focused on the man’s face, who is still sitting at the bar. He chugged the rest of his beer, since the glass that was half full a second ago is now empty. It’s still up to his mouth, and his attention is no longer on the woman. He is looking forward and up, probably at the bartender who is standing behind the bar. He has an intense look and seems like as soon as he puts down his drink he’s going to ask for another one. His eyes are extremely glossy, so he is intoxicated at this point. The longest scene in the ad so far has been our character at the bar drinking, which shows it’s an important moment we should focus on.


The man and the woman have now left the club and are about to enter a white car. The man is reaching for the handle to the driver’s door, and the woman is walking towards the passenger’s side. Her body is mostly blocked by the car[,] but her long, hair is showing. Both [They] are smiling at each other over the roof of the car. They seem to only be thinking [only] about each other, and not about what they are about to do.

Behind them looks like a city, and it is night time. The car is parked in what looks like an alley, but surrounded by concrete buildings and pillars. They might be in a parking garage. It’s most likely fall or winter, since the man is wearing a black jacket over his button-up shirt. He doesn’t have it zipped, and it doesn’t look heavy, so it must not be that cold out.


In this part, the camera is zoomed in on the man’s hand as he’s opening the driver door. All we can see is his hand and the door handle. They want us to focus on this action since they zoomed in so closely. He’s getting into the driver’s seat after drinking, which is a significant moment worth acknowledging.


This scene is interesting because almost directly after he gets into his car, sirens light up behind him. The red and blue sirens are shining brightly through his rear window, around the outline of his backseats. The lights also reflect off his face, which takes up a big portion of the screen. On his forehead, the lights are the brightest. There are also two specks of light on his chin that stand out. We can see the shape of his face and top half of his body. He is frowning[,] and his eyes are big with worry. Instead of looking back at the police car, he is looking off to the side where the woman was getting in. He doesn’t seem worried that the police are behind him. He seems more concerned about what the woman is doing.


We can see the woman clearly for the first time in this visual. She hasn’t gotten in the car yet, and is standing outside. The view is from inside the car, so we can see the shadow of the back of the man’s head as she glares at him with a look of disappointment on her face. She has a thin figure, and is Latino.  She looks cold, and has her arms folded to keep her warm.  She is dressed for a night out at the club. The blue light from the siren is reflecting of off her face and outfit. Her lips are pursed, and she seems annoyed. Her facial expression is probably due to the fact that she’s cold, and partly because the man she was about to go home with got pulled over by the police.

Behind her is a building that seems up-scale. It’s concrete, but has dark green doors with rectangular window panels that make it look elaborate. In front of the building is a short black gate that sits on top on top of brick wall. They must have a good amount of money, judging from their outfits and the place the type of club they’re at. We already know he has a job and belongs to a gym, so it makes sense that he would have money.


We are in a court in this next frame. We don’t see a trial happen. All we see a crisp picture of a gavel banging down on a desk in this picture. The directors only wanted us to focus [only] on the guilty verdict. It’s black with a thick gold strip in in the middle. Gripping it is a judge who’s blurred in the back. Half of his white face is showing just below his eyes. He isn’t smiling or frowning; he just has a simple expression on his face. He is sitting in a chair at a desk, and in the very back corner we can see the red and white stripes of an American flag.


We are back to the gym the main character was in during the first second of the video. This time we get a better look at what’s inside the gym. It doesn’t look like a typical gym with exercise equipment everywhere. It’s more of warehouse, with very high ceilings. There’s [are] white concrete walls and a huge black door that looks like it’s a garage door. It’s used for more high-intensity training.  A bunch of ropes hang from the ceiling, and three orange cones are set up on the ground near the garage door. It’s daytime now because we can see natural light coming in, and the panels of lights on the ceiling are turned off.

There are four men running in the gym. They look like they are just taking off for a sprint, since they are leaning forward heavily. Three of the men, who are wearing athletic gear and sneakers, are about even with each other. Our main character, however, is about two paces behind. He is wearing a blue t-shirt, black shorts, and black Nike shoes. It’s important to point out that he is behind because in the beginning, he seemed to have no problem with the weight he was pushing. He was struggling less than the other guy he was with and now he seems to be struggling the most.


Our main character has now stopped running. We just see him, zoomed in close, looking at his black Iphone. His mouth is open slightly, and he has a worried look on his face. He’s not as focused on working out as he was in the beginning of the ad, so this is clearly affecting him in a negative way.


His phone is supposed to be the center of our attention now. The screen is zoomed in on an[?] in big red letters it reads, “Overdraft Notice.” Underneath that in small black letters it says, “You were charged on Overdraft Fee of $25. View Account Balance.” At the top it says “OneBank,” which is the name of his bank. We also see the time[;] it’s 11am. This shows us that the guilty verdict from drinking and driving has really affected his life. It’s cost him a lot of money, and distracted him from his daily routines.


We are now back to the office setting again. He is in the same room with the same people as earlier, except everyone is wearing different outfits. The Asian woman and black man are sitting on one side of the table, and the guy who was at the door is now sitting down on the other side of the table. Our main character is standing at the head of the table pointing at papers that everyone seems to be focused on. This time, however, he has his phone on the table. Even though he is pointing at the papers, his attention seems to focused on his phone, and not his work.


The camera is now on the cell phone that was sitting at the table. We see his hand reaching out at the phone. He is getting a phone call from his lawyer. On the screen it reads “BENTLEY & YEATS CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEYS.” Underneath it shows the answer button, and his hand is covering where it would normally say “decline.”


Our main character and the woman he met at the club are at the same spot they were when they left the club last time. He is reaching at the handle of the same white car, in the same parking spot. Both are smiling at each other over the roof of the car. The directors want to emphasize that he is in the exact same situation as last time. Will he make the same mistake[,] or will he think about his actions this time?


Zoomed in on the white handle, we see his hand about to open the driver’s door yet again. The directors really want us to focus on this significant moment again.


Instead of opening car door, he again looks up and straight ahead at the woman who is standing on the other side of the car. All we see in this picture is the smile on his face and a portion of the car roof. This signifies that he was thinking about what he was doing before he acting upon it, unlike the first time he decided to get in the car. He didn’t want to endanger the life of the woman he was with, or have to go through the whole process of court again.


A yellow taxi pulls up. He chose to call a taxi this time instead of driving after drinking. We only get [only] a side view of it, but since it has sliding doors, it’s probably a van. The back door is slid open and we see the woman, who is again dressed in clothes for a night out at the club. He is on the side of her, helping her get in, showing he cares about her. The taxi is pulled over, and only lights from the street are showing.


The taxi is driving away[,] and we have a view from the back of it. It is definitely a van. The red brake lights are shining on both sides of the van. They are driving through some type of tunnel with concrete walls on either side of them.  Over top of the taxi there are big white letters that say “Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving.” This is the last frame of video.

The phrase written describes the main message of the PSA. We saw what the main character had to go through by getting a lawyer and possibly fines that made him overdraft on his account. It disrupted his whole daily routine. We saw at the end how when he was put in the same situation, he decided to call a taxi instead of driving buzzed.

Buzzed Driving Prevention

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11 Responses to Visual Rhetoric-aeks123

  1. aeks123 says:

    I didn’t see a category for visual rhetoric, so I just published this to the category for my username for now.

  2. davidbdale says:

    Aeks, I VERY briefly scanned your work as I was scrolling to the bottom looking for a link to your video. In those few seconds, I decided in advance your work here is going to be brilliant.


    I like the way you determined the action was indoors. You’re also very clever to identify not just WHICH of the men is the STAR of the show, but HOW you determined that. Your comparison of the ease with which the STAR is exercising relative to the other man is very impressive.

    You actually provide more detail than necessary, considering we learn nothing from the colors of their garments, but when their gear IS important, you really shine. The fact that they’re NEARLY IDENTICALLY dressed is a point most viewers would not have mentioned, but you use that observation to great effect. Their similarities in other regards highlight their IMPORTANT DIFFERENCES.

    Just a very fine job overall. Thank you for providing such an admirable model while your classmates are working on their posts and can benefit from yours.

    [COULD IT BE BETTER? Of course. The STAR opens the “garage door” to admit himself and his workout partner. Does this indicate RANK of any kind? Is our STAR a leader, a top performer?]


    Love your observation that the open door means visitors are welcome. It’s very good that you identify the paper as the focus of their attention. And your observations about the man at the door are very strong.

    [COULD IT BE BETTER? What is the significance of rolled-up sleeves? You don’t indicate who’s in charge in this scene. We get no indication from your description that our STAR is conducting the meeting, drawing his co-workers’ attention to what’s important. AM I CRAZY?: three star ornaments on the wall behind the three workers, one of them much larger and more important than the others? Coincidence? ]


    SUCH a strong observation that the man with the pad wants to share this information ONLY with our STAR. We would have known that also from the fact that he wrote it on a pad to show instead of saying the words aloud and being overheard. Right? Is there any chance the woman who is facing the door would have seen the pad? That seems like a problem for the directors. Speculate about whether these two characters are co-workers or something else. Would the man with the pad keep secrets from co-workers?


    You are so good, Aeks. The barely indicated dynamic between our STAR and the woman did not escape you. The left-hand-no-wedding-band observation is breathtakingly good. You’ve spotted and indicated the trend in the ad: four seconds, three scenes. You haven’t mentioned how FAST things are developing, but that should be obvious even to readers who aren’t watching.


    Does it amaze you that in a single frame the directors communicated “he’s intoxicated”? We’ve now spent two seconds in the bar, the longest scene so far, and in most of it, the focus in on the STAR drinking. Significance?


    This is really smart: They seem to only be thinking about each other, and not about what they are about to do.

    Has the pace of the ad changed in any way, or are you taking this frame by frame and therefore unable to judge whether the action has slowed?


    In this part, the camera is zoomed in on the man’s as he’s opening the driver door. All we can see is his hand and the door handle. They want us to focus on this action since they zoomed in so closely. He’s getting into the driver’s seat after drinking, which is a significant moment worth acknowledging.

    Really clever of you, Aeks. An entire second devoted to the hand on the door latch. Earlier, that one second could have told an entire narrative of business acumen. Here, it captures a moment of stillness. Very perceptive of you to catch it.

    I won’t go second by second through the rest of your very strong work, Aeks. Feel free to revise it in any way before the deadline or after, and as always, to put the post back into Feedback Please following any significant revisions if you want more Notes from me.

    Congratulations. Thank you for providing such a strong model for your classmates.

  3. davidbdale says:

    0:23. Name that facial expression and head move. What do they signify?

  4. aeks123 says:

    Thank you for all of your feedback! Do you think I should get rid of the extra details about color of the clothing? I point it out in several seconds but if it isn’t necessary I can take it out. I also think I can do a better job in the later seconds by pointing out the significance of observations (like I did in the earlier seconds) instead of just describing the appearance of things. I had more trouble with the later seconds because it was basically the same setting over and over again so i felt like I was repeating myself.

    • davidbdale says:

      You can definitely eliminate details that add up to nothing, Aeks, as you suggest. When two characters are dressed identically for a purpose, it may or may not matter what they’re wearing. If two characters are wearing red, that may not be relevant, but if they’re dressed as Valentine hearts, that’s probably significant. Similarly, if two characters are dressed for work, it’s probably not significant that their suits are both dark. Unless it’s a co-worker’s funeral. You see my point. Wardrobe is often significant, but only certain details have meaning in certain contexts.

      You tell us how the judge is dressed in the courtroom scene, for example, which seems utterly irrelevant. But you neglect to mention that the entire trial, verdict, and sentencing take less than a second, and just as much time is spent on the stricken defendant’s face when he receives his justice. HIS wardrobe, compared to his dating outfit, workout gear, and office shirt, DOES seem relevant. Had you noticed how guilty it makes him look?

      I agree you can do a better job in the later seconds. You’ve proved you’re capable of much more. You won’t necessarily need more words. Just use the words that identify the details that communicate the most. You’re on such a roll.

      Thank you for keeping this conversation going, Aeks. This is exactly how feedback should work.

  5. davidbdale says:

    Aeks, did you put this back into the Feedback Please category, or did I? I don’t see revisions later than my latest feedback. I’ll remove it from the Feedback Please queue. You can put it back if you decide to revise.

  6. davidbdale says:

    Did you mean to make some last improvements after FEB 14? Still a bit of room for revision.

    Provisional Grade at Blackboard

  7. aeks123 says:

    revised. I added the suggestions you gave me for seconds 1-9, and added more relevant details for the later seconds. I also went through and tried to take out most of the irrelevant details for all of the seconds, and fixed up some of the grammar mistakes I noticed while I was re-reading it

    • davidbdale says:

      Wonderful work, Aeks. You’ve earned your upgrade. I’ve added a few last comments, not to encourage further revisions, but just to share some last instructional advice.

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