The camera angle now changes to a close up of the boy. He looks in the mirror to where his mother was standing, and touches it. His facial expressions demonstrate that he’s trying to hold back his tears. Perhaps he is trying to make himself look like ‘a big boy’, who doesn’t really need his mum anymore. There is a parallel to be made here between this scene and another well known to children. In “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone” there is a moving episode where Harry sees his dead parents in the mirror.
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He reaches out to them but then they are gone. The film preceded this Cancer advert but clever advertisers recognize the power of association. They know that children watching this appeal will be reminded of their favorite film and will instantly bond with the advert. It might even encourage them to draw their parent’s attention to it. Association of the product with a well-known media star or event is a well-used technique.
The advert now diverts to a family who has been treated by the Cancer organisation. The mother in this scene is brushing her hair; it’s quite a normal thing to do, the family doesn’t look affected by cancer at all. The children are talking the background of the ‘three shot’ camera angle. The phone number appears on the screen, whilst the voiceover says “Please call 0800 316 4000 and give 2 a month to Cancer Research UK”.
At this point the advert is telling the viewer to contribute a small donation and magnify the result. The colours in the background are warm and pleasant, associated with life and security. The mother says to one of her children “come here” and hugs her child with strength and love. The hug becomes a kiss and a hug again; this is showing to the viewer the strength of their relationship. This also implies openness and a need to communicate to children about cancer. It blows away previously held myths that cancer is infectious or has a stigma attached to it.
Text is printed across the screen “ï¿½2 a month will help us cure cancer faster” these are a few short words which will help the viewer to develop an understanding for the uses of the small contribution. Most adverts tend to leave the advert with a key point, or name so that the viewers will remember the product advertised when they next go shopping. The Cancer Research UK’s advert finishes with the mother and daughter hugging. The background has a mirror that reflects the light, and warm colours to show the life and future the family has together. The advertisement here is stressing the effectiveness of the product, that is, Cancer Research UK would make good use of your contribution.
In my opinion, the advertisement is successful because it shows two scenes that are both similar and contrasting. Both portray family life with a mother and child. However the fundamental difference is life and death. In one scene the mother dies of cancer. In the other the mother survives. The inference is that the person who can really make the difference is the viewer. A modest donation of ï¿½2 a month is a small price to pay to alleviate the viewer’s guilt, to buy hope and find an effective cure for cancer.
The advert empowers the viewer to act in a positive way and this is an appealing message. It also implies that as one in three of us will develop cancer at some point in our lives, and therefore it would be a good and wise investment. This is a beautifully crafted advert that stimulates the senses of sight, sound, and touch. As such, it makes a lasting impression especially as a potential giver can contribute to a happy ending.