Fannin's Place

MMC6612, Fall 2010

Deliberation on YouTube, a success or a failure?

with 9 comments

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.


Written by fanninchen

September 5, 2010 at 8:35 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

9 Responses

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  1. I’ve come to realize that maybe it is the nature of the video itself that’s leading the direction of comments. The first video displays a relatively warm, happy and most importantly family oriented atmosphere, from which we could expect a more positive and harmonic response from the audience. Unlike the second video, which turns out to be somewhat “entertaining and humorous,” the first ad delivers itself in a way that would trigger the least disputes.

    Shine Lyui

    September 7, 2010 at 9:11 pm

  2. That first video is amazing. Quite well done!

    As for the second, my fave comment: “I thought that seat belts were supposed to hold you in your seat after a crash, didn’t know that they were also holding your soul in your body.” Sarcastic, but not vicious …

    Mindy McAdams

    September 8, 2010 at 2:56 pm

  3. I really enjoyed the first video, it seems effort-less yet touching. And compared to tons of videos that try to persuade, or should I say scare people by sensational images, sound effect or plot, this one was able to stop at the very point of nicety.

    But I did notice that even though the majority of the comments to the first video were kind and positive, most of them only responsed to the production and the execution of the video, not the topic itself. So we don’t know how this video will actually affect its viewers.


    September 8, 2010 at 9:31 pm

  4. I really like the first video!! It is impressive and touching!
    Here is another video about safety driving. ( Also, there is no dialogue and try to convey serious message: not to drink and drive. And it also used gory image to make audience feeing “fear” as the second video. However, it didn’t get negative comments likewise. I think the reason may be that Youtubers are not getting on Youtube for class. Your first video and the video I mentioned were not only trying to remind people to drive safely, but also remind the love of family. Usin “love” and “sympathy” as hooks is much easily being accecpted by Youtubers than just threaten them.


    September 9, 2010 at 3:55 am

  5. I love the first video, it’s a great way to convey the point without being too graphic. I particularly liked the part where the man’s wife and child act as his seat belt. The producers are not trying to ram the point down the viewer’s throat. As you said in your blog, they make their point using high production values. I think this might be part of the reason the comments are quite complimentary of the video.

    Watching your videos reminded me of a seat belt safety video they broadcast in Ireland. It was really graphic and hammered the point home- the person not wearing a seat belt does the most damage. I think your first video was just as effective but doesn’t make the viewer feel ill afterwards! Here’s the link to that video.


    September 9, 2010 at 4:25 pm

  6. These two videos are brilliant,especially the first one! It’s much better than just explaining how important or why people need to buckle up the seat belt while in a car,very impressive. Not surprising, there’re some negative comments. People have different responses and post it willingly, probably that’s the beauty of YouTube.


    September 9, 2010 at 5:30 pm

  7. I think you’re absolutely right about production values–better quality is definitely more effective. That said, I’ve seen some pretty terrible videos elicit quite a bit of lively conversation on YouTube! =) As far as YouTube being an effective outlet for political discourse, I think the fact that technology has advanced to the point where videos are easy to make–and parody–plays an enormous role in the exchange of ideas. And these videos are a good example of how a fairly innocuous topic can still elicit some interesting debate!

    Wendy Brunner

    September 10, 2010 at 3:38 am

  8. I have seen the second video before but regarded the first one is more impressive. I can’t agree with you more. The video with high quality receieves more comments that seems more democratic. A serious topic may not receieve fairly treatments on the internet. This topic is related not so serious as the global issues such as poverty or global warming. Indeed, the stretagy of running a compaign or sale an idea is more important than the issue per se.


    September 10, 2010 at 12:55 pm

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