Visual Analysis and Ethics
An ad by the American Library Association
This is an ad made by the American Library Association encouraging people to register and take their library cards. The brand in the ad is the library card. The ad targets every school going individual especially children who may be in need of good research materials or a quiet place to study. From the ad, there is a picture of the library card that has pictures of children indicating that the ad is intended to reach mostly to children. Also, from the fact that there is a picture of Troy Polamalu, it can be argued that the ad is also intended to reach athletes and adults since he meets these two qualifications. The primary claim of the ad is the library card is the smartest card that every individual should have in their wallet. From, the ad, the there are two rhetorical situations. First is the picture of Troy Polamalu. Troy Polamalu is not a scholar. Library card is intended to encourage people to go for books and read them. Having of Troy Polamalu who is an athlete can be very confusing. Instead of using a picture of prominent scholars and decorated writers like Ngugi Wa Thiong’o, the ad uses a picture of an athlete. Most athletes are not scholars and therefore have no interests going to the library. Secondly, the ad claims that the library card is the smartest card that an individual can have in their wallet. This is not entirely true since one can register for online library services and will not, therefore, need the library card. Also, there are more important cards like the credit card, driver’s license card, and identification card that one should not miss in their wallet. However, by using these to rhetorical aspects in the ad, the American Library Association can meet two primary objectives. First, it shows people the usefulness of having a library card, since it allows people to access library services anywhere in the country. Secondly, everyone is allowed to be part of the national library. No profession or age determines which people should have the library card.
A picture of Troy Polamalu in the ad
There are two images in the ad. The first image is a picture of Troy Polamalu and also a picture of the library card. Troy Polamalu being an athlete means he has fans of all ages. Therefore having his picture on the ad is a method that the American Library Association uses to make people read the ad. If someone who is a fan of Troy Polamalu saw the ad, he or she will be forced to read it to see what the ad says about their favorite athlete. Also, having a picture of Troy Polamalu shows that the card can be obtained by everyone in any profession. It is not for scholars only. Since the library is a free zone where everybody is allowed to go in and borrow a book or two and do research, the ad is made in such way to show that a person’s profession should not be a limiting factor. For instance, just like teachers, doctors and lawyers are allowed to the library, so should the athletes, football players and other people from other careers. Secondly, there is a picture of the library card. The card has pictures of children. The children may be used to show that the card is not meant for adults only, but children can also obtain it. In the two pictures, both Troy Polamalu and the kids are smiling. This is an indication that by acquiring the card, the individual will be happy with the outcome. He or she shall free and easy access to any library in the country. Also, they will be able to borrow books and access online services from the library.
The main words in the ad are, “the library card is the smartest card in my wallet. Sign up for yours today”. It could be Troy Polamalu encouraging people to sign up for the library cards. This is a direct conversation with the person reading the ad. It is very effective since it prompts people to see themselves enjoying the same way Troy Polamalu is getting from using the card. Direct conversation is an effective method to convince people to see the importance of the card from the persona, which in this case is Troy Polamalu. It gives the target audience the feeling that the ad is directly intended for him or her. The reader will emphasize with the ad and feel the weight of message and will immediately go and register for their card. For instance, by stating that the card is the smartest card, the reader will begin viewing the card as something that is very essential, and every individual should have theirs for convenience.
Advertising methods of Library Association
Within the ad, there is a logo of the American Library Association and Library Champions. The two shows that the ad has been approved and is legal to be used by people. The audience is forced with the decision of registering for a library card. They are however not obliged to it. It is a personal choice that every individual has to make for themselves. Also, they are liberty not to register for the card. Rather, they can access the library services at a fee. As the audience, I would sign up for the card. This is because it a cheap method of accessing the library services. It also allows me to have access to different libraries across the country and can, therefore, conduct a proper research on any topic. However, I can as well fail to sign up for the card since the card does not mention some of the benefits I will enjoy as being a card holder. Also, the ad does not mention the costs, if any, the card holder will incur after acquiring the card. The potential consequences of both sides are that failing to register for the card will deny the user the ability to access library services. While at the same time, registering for the card my force the card holder to pay for costs like card registration fee, card renewal fee, and library membership fee, which may be expensive in the long run.
In conclusion, the ad has used the direct conversation technique to encourage people to register for the library card. The American Library Association has successfully used both picture and word techniques to capture the attention of the audience. Having a famous personality like Troy Polamalu is a good method of capturing the attention of people. Also, being brief and to the point is one aspect that the ad has employed. It has briefly stated how important it is to acquire the card. By including the logo of American Library Association, the ad has proved that it is authentic and can people can use it.
American Library Association: “Library Card” https://www.google.com/search?q=public+service+announcement. Accessed 9 March. 2017.