A lot of the time companies and organizations use different tactics to advertise and idea to get consumers attention. Depending on the company, their message can be negative or positive. By using pathos, logos, and ethos, the advertisement can have a powerful message that leaves the audience in awe. SaveTheChildren, an organization that helps kids in Syria from the effects of war, published a video-advertisement with a powerful message using rhetoric. It shows the affects of the Syrian refugee crisis and how kids are physiologically damaged calling for people to help out the kids in need. As the video shows, just because it isn’t happening with our country doesn’t mean its not happening somewhere else.
The advertisement, “Most Shocking Second a Day Video,” starts with a little girl being sung happy birthday to as she blows the candles of her cake. Her innocent smile shines through as the camera is rolling. She goes through a routine of eating ice cream, putting on lipstick, caressing a teddy bear, playing with the flute, and playing with her grandmother. The video focuses heavily on the use of pathos through the little girls’ happiness and enjoyment as she is living a normal life surrounded by friends and family. Through the use of pathos, the audience can relate to the childhood experiences similar to the girl in the video invoking nostalgia to sympathize with the character. As her routine continues, vague conflicting news can be heard in the background, it seems to be the start of Syrian civil war. The video then shows the family’s neighbor packing all their belongings into a car. Helicopter and ambulance noises are playing in the background. Lights start to flicker in the house as the parents argue about staying. No information is yet given as to what is happening. They are left with no electricity and the building starts to crumble. Fear is now what the little girl is experiencing. She looks perplexed at the events that are unfolding before her. A bomb goes off and the family starts to flee. Tears are shown coming down her cheeks. Guns shots can be heard as they are roaming the streets alone with nowhere to sleep. The little girl ends up losing her parents in the commotion and is eventually saved by a soldier where she is then taken to a hospital. There, the little girl looks depressed; the joy of living has left her innocent life. As the video concludes, a nurse sings happy birthday to her with one candle. Instead of blowing the candle, she stares into the camera with such trauma in her eyes and the video ends (SaveTheChildren). The director of the short video uses pathos to invoke pity and sadness by having the audience feel and experience what the little girl is going through. The end of the video leaves viewers left overwhelmed. It makes the audience feel like they need to do something to help.
The video also uses logos. It is using facts from the Syrian conflict, a real life event to get their message across. The Syrian civil war conflict began in March 2011 when young people took the streets in the southern city of Daraa seeking government reforms in a peaceful protest (Reid). However, they were met with extreme force by the government thus unleashing violence from both sides (Reid). Due to the conflict, many Syrian children and families were torn apart, it is where the video is using logos from. In the video, chaos erupts as the little girls home is bombed. The audience can see first hand how the Syrian refugee crisis is affecting her. Furthermore, through the video, she is shown to be malnourished. Due to the Syrian crisis, many children are left with no education opportunities left. Also, “children are susceptible to ailments brought on by poor sanitation, including diarrheal diseases like cholera” (Reid). The director of the advertisement briefly shows the little girl’s neighbor fleeing. That scene is also another use of logos because “by the end of 2014, an estimated 7.6 million people were internally displaced and 3.7 million Syrians had fled the country” (Ostrand). The Syrian refugee crisis has become a worldwide problem. It has put a strain in neighboring countries that are willing to help them. Some have not been so kind.
Towards the end of the video, the advertisement starts to use ethos. The director uses a phrase that moves the viewers to do the right thing in helping out children. “Just because it isn’t happening here doesn’t mean it isn’t happening” (SaveTheChildren). The phrase being used helps the audience be aware of the problem affection children globally. It makes the audience come to terms with their ethical values and making them question whether or not they can continue to let something horrible happen in a place that isn’t their home. The director also uses the last shot of the little girl, where her dispirited gaze stares right at the audience. That last shot is also using ethos to make the viewers feel guilty and to question their ethical values. The girl’s dispirited gaze is also a sign of the physiological damage she took due to her experience with the crisis. Children that go through traumatic events are likely to develop some mental disorders. One of those mental disorders is called posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Symptoms “include re-experiencing traumatic events, avoiding reminders of the trauma and numbing the related emotions” (Eloranta et al. 2016). According to the research, “The Role of Attachment and Emotion Regulation in the Psychosocial Intervention Among War-Affected Children,” many of the war-surviving children will experience extreme fear, detachment of emotion, and disorientation right after their traumatic event. However, only about 25% of children and adult will suffer extreme PTSD. The advertisement was meant for people to help out the kids affected by the war. The publisher calls for donations that can go towards their health. One of the ways that children can be helped is to provide them with psychosocial interventions, attachment, and emotion regulations so that they don’t have to suffer when they are adults (Eloranta et al. 2016).
The “Most Shocking Second a Day Video” is an advertisement that is intended to help children in need by using rhetoric in order to get people to use their ethical values and critical thinking skills to donate their money for a good cause. It uses pathos, logos, and ethos to assert their cry for help. It is also calling for people to get together to try and help come up with a solution to this problem. Even though ethos and logos are used, it is mostly dominated by pathos. Anyone can sympathize with the video because the viewer is watching a young girl’s life get turned upside-down in a tragic event. The organization, SaveTheChildren, also helps other kids in need on a global scale and they fight for human basic rights (The Save The Children Fund). Although events such as the Syrian refugee crisis is happening across the world, people should never forget that any type of event can happen anywhere and anybody can be just as affected by it. No matter where the children are from, they should never have to suffer in such a traumatic way and all government should put them first above all else.
Eloranta, Sami J., et al. “The Role of Attachment and Emotion Regulation in the Psychosocial Intervention Among War-Affected Children.” Journal of Child & Adolescent Trauma, vol. 10, no. 4, Dec. 2017, pp. 301–314. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1007/s40653-016-0115-y. This source was used to help understand the psychology behind warfare. It helped understand the video more in depth and how the girl’s trauma helped convey the use of pathos for the advertisement. The research goes into detail on how they can help kids and even adults who have suffered at the hands of warfare. It introduces the ways they are affected and shows statistics of kids suffering due to trauma. This source also helps the viewer question their ethical values.
“Global Children’s Charity.” Save the Children UK, www.savethechildren.org.uk/. This source was used to guide the audience into visiting the organizations website. It was used to talk about the organizations goals as they try to tackle issues that deal with children being abused. The website provides history and more detail on how they help children worldwide. The website also provides the viewers with other issues that children are going through. Its main focus is to help out any child in need, specially those that have been affected by warfare.
“Most Shocking Second a Day Video.” YouTube, uploaded by SaveTheChildren, 5 March 2014, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RBQ-IoHfimQ. This video is the base to my essay. It was used to break down its use of pathos, logos, and ethos. I used the video to break down each one into categories to better analyze the advertisements argument. Furthermore, it was used to help the audience get educated on an event that is happening far away from home. Analyzing the video helped me also understand the use of rhetoric.
Ostrand, Nicole. “The Syrian Refugee Crisis: A Comparison of Responses by Germany, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United States – Nicole Ostrand, 2015.” SAGE Journals, journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/233150241500300301. This Source was used to help further break down the use if logos by providing statistics on how many people fled during the events of the crisis. It also helped me compare the statistics to the video as it showed the young girl’s neighbors packaging during a brief scene. The source also provides with more information about the effects of refugees in other countries. It also provides with ideas on how to solve the refugee crisis. The source also provides with information on where the refugees as migrating.
Reid, Kathryn. “Syrian Refugee Crisis: Facts, FAQs, and How to Help.” World Vision, 5 Mar. 2020, www.worldvision.org/refugees-news-stories/syrian-refugee-crisis-facts#why-start. This source helped with the history of the crisis. It helped me understand the advertisement by understanding how it all got started. I was able to use background information that details on why it all started and how it is affecting the children. By understanding what the crisis is about, I was able to understand the message behind the video as well. Also, understanding the Syrian refugee crisis makes the video all the more impactful.