For the past few weeks we have been studying an advert called ‘cartoon’ for the children’s charity N.S.P.C.C. It is obviously about child abuse. This advert in particular is about a little boy who is physically abused by his father. However, the carton includes a cartoon boy in a normal family home (possibly a one-parent family). The boy stands out a lot as he is a cartoon and he is made much brighter than any of the other objects around him.
The little boy is wearing a green top with a thick red line going across the top. He is also wearing little grey shorts that look like school uniform. His green pale green top is made into a very bright green top, and the red also stands out more with it. The little boy has sky blue colour eyes and looks very vulnerable. As the boy is very small, he is made to look even smaller when he is sitting in the armchair in his living room. In my opinion this is done to show his vulnerability and perhaps just how small he actually is. When the boy is in the kitchen playing with his toys, I found that very unusual as many parents don’t allow their children to play in the kitchen by them selves because of all the sharp objects and machinery.
In many shots the colours are very dull to make the boy stand out as much as possible to show exactly who the made character is. Most of the lighting is on the boy because he is very bright. The other sources of light are just lamps and light bulbs. The acting in the advert is very physical and the father or carer if the boy is always shouting and throwing thing. This is obviously suggesting that the man is doing all the abusing.
All the shots are carefully planned out and they all go well after one another. There is a lot of non-diegetic music. This means that most of the music is artificial, for example there are fairground noises in the background and circus noises. There is also a laughter track when the little boy falls down. This is very early in the advert because as the advert is happening the audience realise what it is really about, and that it isn’t really funny. On the other hand there are some diegetic sounds. This means that the sounds are real. For example, when the man is shouting at the boy “look at the state of this place!” he expected the little boy to clean up the house when he should have been at school anyway.
There is only one main caption at the end of the advert when the little boy isn’t a cartoon anymore and he is lying on the floor, not moving possibly even dead. The caption reads ‘real children don’t bounce back’. This is a really effective slogan because it makes the audience think a lot about what it actually means and about how the advert stared off, with all the laughing tracks and the circus noises.
The other caption is just to warn people that many children are being abused and they are advising them if they think a child is being abused they should call the N.S.P.C.C child hotline, and it states the number clearly. They are also guaranteeing us that if we call and tell them if a child is being abused, we will help stop child abuse. The editing is very clever because the directors and producers have picked out the most effective parts to put in the actual advert and that the parts that the audience would respond to the most.