Deliberation on YouTube, a success or a failure?
There are two video links that I found very interesting and it is related to the road safety, which reminds the public to wear the seatbelt.
1) Embrace Life- always wear your seatbelt
This advertisement was made from Sussex Safer Roads Partnership (UK), which aims to “make the roads of our county – and beyond – safer for all road users. “ It presents an aesthetic production technique, with no dialogue in the video clip, and is formed by metaphor, offers a different smell of propaganda video. This video has been viewed over 11 million times, worldwide, and attracted more than 5000 user commented on it. Viewers comments are mostly positive, few of them is outlaw or parody. As viewer vaverachka said, “this ad is amazing. I have tears every time I watch it. And if you get away from the message and just look at the video it’s verywell made. The acting is beyond great! The whole thing from idea to implementation is genius.”
2) Seat Belt Commercial
This video was presented by Naval Safety Center, using death as a “Fear Appeals” to call on people that “Buckled up. Heaven can wait!” Again this video uses no dialogue to present scenery of a serious message, death. But the outcome and reaction is a bit different from the previous one, the comments including some meaningless vernacular such as ” pcjoel999 : Fire Officers can now pull you over” ,” benshehzad : why the fXXk cant they drive responsibly? MotherfXXkXXs”,” CalyxAsgard :So all his mates ended up in heaven while he is stuck on Earth in the middle of nowhere accompanied only by corpses… curse you seatbelt”. Of course there are positive feedbacks but this does show a distinct result from the first video. Why?
In my opinion, I believe that under the influence of the movie, plot and lines in the video are more and more important to the viewers. Audience now stands on a critical side to judge every aspect of the video, not to mention its political attempt. They become smarter, clever enough to see through the attempt of the authority. It’s not easy to please the public, so the propaganda videos are no longer press conference or a lecture advertise. It uses more emotional element to affect audience. According to Hess’ (2009, Resistance Up in Smoke: Analyzing the Limitation of Deliberation on YouTube) view of “Forum Decorum”, I do not consider this issue presentation as an “invasion of personal space “, or “violate the freedom on YouTube.” From the comment left by the viewers, there are only the critics about the content itself and not related to the apparatuses. As we can see, the commercial “Embrace life” is more delicate produced and artistic presented, use “the love of the family” to touch the heart of everyone. But the “Seat belt commercial” is more like a publicity tool of propaganda, and the harsh words are not always easy to swallow. I do agree with the points that Hess said about the structural limitation on new media, but I still believe there is a way out to get into audience mind and produce a successful propaganda video.