Content and Context

We see advertisements every day of our lives. So much so that we learn to block them out and ignore them. Over the years there have been an occasional few that have become extremely iconic. Rosie the Riveter, Budweiser Clydesdales, and Puppy Monkey Baby have all become iconic for various reasons; controversy, funniness, weirdness or relatability. Below I have analyzed an advert from just a few years ago that had a few variations, but due to its powerful message and dark way of getting needed attention, has become well known and somewhat iconic. As a young person, and as a student I live in a generation where it has become important to pay attention because my generation is taught that we are the ones who can take the power to make a real difference. So, for those whose only power is to make advertisements, they decide to make ones that have some dark facts, and unfortunate circumstances in order to make a very important point.

The advertisement by Moms Demand Action has some powerful content and messages. This advertisement consists of a photograph of two children holding items that have been under controversy at least once over the last few decades in America. The photograph has lots of horizontal lines that help guide the viewers eyes across and down naturally. The focal point of the image are the two children. This is emphasized by how they have a bright spotlight above them, they have contrasting textures with the background and they have organic shapes. The child on the right is holding a children’s book, Little Red Riding Hood and the other is holding an assault rifle. The image alone is powerful, but the designer decided to add to the power with the phrase, “One child is holding something that’s been banned in America to protect them. Guess which one.” Moms Demand Action are making a very obvious point that we can easily guess which item has been banned in America, and how absurdly ridiculous that is.

At the very bottom of the advert the designer added a small amount of additional information for the viewer. They say “We keep ‘Little Red Riding Hood’ out of schools because of the bottle in her basket. Why not assault weapons?” Despite being a few years old it is still very much topical and heavily applies to todays society in America. Recently, after the Walmart shooting in El Paso there was an unfortunate fact released about the frequency of mass shootings in America. On the 217th day of the year, it was known that there were 255 mass shootings in that many days. These shootings happen in all public and private spaces, schools being one of the most concerning for parents like ones involved with Moms Demand Action. As a young person, when I see this advert, I feel angry. I want what this advert says to not be true just as politicians ignore that climate change is a fact, I want to ignore that mass shootings are an everyday fact. But the person who made this advert said that people can’t do that anymore. They thought that in order to make a difference they need to create their own propaganda and raise awareness. Because America is in trouble and us college students, us high schoolers, us women, us men, us of anything in between and outside those boundaries have the same power to make a difference. And in some cases, it starts with an advertisement.