PSA: Design

18/03/2011 § Leave a comment

One way the group decided to make the PSA was to actually put one of us into the role of a homosexual (gay or lesbian) teen but that would have been awkward. If this were what the PSA would look like, it would have to be serious, meaning one of us would have to be a remarkable actor/actress to pull off a serious face and really execute an astounding performance to make the PSA as serious as it’s meant to be. However, I felt that people wouldn’t take our PSA seriously at the mere thought of one of their classmates being gay. (As a side note, I thought that, in a way, that fact I just mentioned could channel into our research. Do people at CA, or would people at CA, feel nervous and uneasy if one of their friends turned out to be gay?) We’re still keeping this possibility at the back of our minds but I’ve told the group that one person has to be brave enough to take on the role of the main (gay) character. We may not end up using this PSA idea because of such a difficult role.

Another possible way we could do this PSA is to make the situation a lot lighter. We haven’t quite discussed this as a group yet but I’m sure it’s been on all of our minds. Instead of trying to force ourselves to make a serious PSA, we might be able to create a skit that’s funny (but not offensive in any way possible) and at the end of the PSA, add the main message: “It’s okay to be gay!” or something along those lines. We merely want to get a message to the students of CA that people — human beings — shouldn’t be discriminated against, whether they’re gay or not. Being different and unique is being someone special and if being gay is how someone chooses to be special, then no one should be allowed to take that away from him/her. << That is basically the overall idea our group currently has. Criticism and condemnation for being different; being gay.

Finally, I personally am leaning towards another kind of PSA that’s factual, light, but also serious at the end. My inspiration for this kind of PSA is a “Stand Up 2 Cancer” public service announcement commercial that was released to the public around August/September of 2010. On this super awesome PSA, we see a lot of celebrities and lovely faces perform a few roles (ranging from golfers, to a normal lady taking a bath, to an average teenager bowling with her friends, to an astronaut). There’s a voiceover that speaks during 97% of the PSA (voiced by Dakota Fanning) that reads out facts and the odds of such-and-such. For example, she says, “Odds of dating a supermodel: 1 in 88,000.” This continues for a while, and the commercial seems light and happy and the audience gets to see some of their favourite actors and actresses on a great commercial. At the end, though, Dakota Fanning gets to the point of the PSA and finally says, “Odds of getting cancer in your lifetime: 1 in 2 men, 1 in 3 women.” In the end, the PSA is so incredibly serious but also has an “in-your-face” effect what with having such astounding statistics that the audience (adults, teenagers, children; all ages, in this case) is forced to, at the end, take the situation seriously. If we just change the cancer topic to discrimination or homosexuality, throwing in pretty serious facts but making the situation light at first, we might be able to get out a similar reaction out of our teenage audience in 9th grade. My group has seen the SU2C PSA and we haven’t decided how exactly we’ll write a script for this idea. This is why I think that our research for statistics and facts is so vital to this project so that we can also have some astounding facts that can make people’s mouths drop or at least have them think, “Oh, really? I didn’t know that.” Of course, our final PSA may not be as great as the SU2C one but we’ll do our best.


PSA: Investigate

18/03/2011 § Leave a comment

For this ultimate Public Service Announcement project, my group members are Yurika, Kevin, and Shunsuke. On the first day of the project (the class right after we finished our Counter Ad projects), and given some time to look at the options for the entire PSA. If I could, I would pull up the possible choices from the Health/Tech page on canacad.ac.jp but it seems to not respond (or just won’t load) when I try and click the “Group lists & topic categories” choice, the file won’t open.  Nevertheless, I remember most of the choices. They were along the lines of:

  • Sexual orientation
  • Physiology of sex
  • Contraception
  • Teenage pregnancy
  • Anatomy of the body (both male and female)

As far as I can remember, those were the basic categories that my group could choose from and we narrowed our choices down to two main topics: sexual orientation and teenage pregnancy. The entire group was okay with doing any of the two and we really couldn’t decide our final topic. In the end, our choice was based on what message would be more meaningful and a topic that no one else was doing. So we chose sexual orientation. We thought that, because we now live in a modern world where people are being more openly gay/lesbian (a la Glee), we feel that people should be aware that it’s okay to 1) be gay, and 2) it is not right to berate some or criticise them of the way they express themselves. Our group discussed that every human being has a right to express themselves and be who they are, and if that means being gay, then being gay is okay.

Admittedly, we got a bit ahead of ourselves during our first meeting in the library because we started talking about what we could possibly do for the PSA. We didn’t go so far as to where we would film, or any of the important details but I led the group as we brainstormed a little, mentioning that we would be wearing purple to show that we, as a group, support people who are different, specifically people who are gay or lesbian.

However, that was pretty much all we did when we ‘brainstormed’ and we led ourselves back to the topic of homosexuality. During our first meeting at the library, we had help from Mrs. Ishihara about what we were really supposed to be focusing on. We were supposed to have a main question but we didn’t know at first how to get to a question that sexual orientation could help sum up and answer. For a while, we brainstormed some questions that may or may not have helped. These included:

  • How do people realise that they’re gay?
  • Do people at school know that others could be gay?
  • Are some people at CA gay?
  • We know there are gays and lesbians, but is one group berated/criticised more than the other?
  • Are the guys discriminated against more often than girls?
  • What are the reasons behind someone’s being gay?
  • What are some behaviours that openly gay and not-openly-gay people have?
  • Why do people discriminate, in the first place?
  • What behaviours cause people to discriminate against others?
  • What causes people to discriminate others?

As you can see, some questions interlock and relate with each other but our group eventually came to the conclusion that one of the biggest ideas in the whole topic of sexual orientation is the idea that people are discriminated against, judged, and criticised for who they are and how they express themselves. Mrs. Ishihara helped us figure out that the main idea and the big picture is actually discrimination and our group’s main question became What are the causes of discrimination?

In the next two classes where we researched, we looked up the books in the library and pulled up some websites to get some statistics about gay people and sexual orientation. Aside from grabbing a couple of pages from Wikipedia, we also got information and statistics from other (older) websites and books that were accessible. One piece of information we received was that one out of ten teenagers are gay (Cohen, S. & Cohen, D., 1989). However, this could be in only America, or if it were around the globe, maybe only certain places in the world have concentrated numbers of open homosexuals because of factors that limit their openness. These factors might include religion, the country’s history, what the local society thinks of homosexuals, etc.

Such information gave our group a few looks into what the statistics and what the information could be throughout the rest of this project. For the next few classes, I think we’ll have to research a little bit more and gather more statistics online or in the books to use for our PSA. Yurika and I wrote and recently sent out a survey that now has 70 answers that asked the questions (with the choices “yes” or “no”):

  • Do you accept the idea that some people are gay?
  • Do you think the CA community should accept students who are homosexual?

We’ve currently been getting replies that say yes to both, which state that the CA community (so far) are accepting of homosexuals. Further research might give us more insight about the topic of sexual orientation and will let us relate the knowledge to discrimination.

 

 

References

Cohen, S., & Cohen, D. (1989). When someone you know is gay. New York, NY: M.
Evans & Company.

Heron, A. (Ed.). (1983). One teenager in 10. Boston, MA: Alyson

 

Counter Ad [Blog Post #9] — Evaluate

01/03/2011 § Leave a comment

After finishing the final product that is this Nivea advertisement girl, I feel like I really used the tools quite effectively during this project and applied ideas of mental and physical health into the final product all the while. I was able to change her face completely and also change almost all of the text on the page, even managing to get onto the product images. Although there are a few mistakes and I’m sure that the manipulation of this ad isn’t exactly one of the best out there, I do think that it has some effect on the ideas of the original ad.  I wanted to change the feel of the original advertisement from supporting using all types of cream to cover up your natural skin tone to turning people away from buying creams spontaneously. As to how easily I manipulated the graphic advertisement, I’d say that the process wasn’t exactly hard but it wasn’t easy, either.

In all honesty, I made multiple changes in my plan. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing because the order of steps that I did take for this project produced a final image that was better than what the original method would have made. I think that if I had tried to warp the girl, the font could have been a bit bothered and I may have had a harder time smudging and blending colours. Also, I actually had a lot of fun using the smudge tool because it’s such a useful option. Because I was fond of Smudge, I used it a lot and that usually led to me straying away from my original plan and simply doing what I felt was right for the image.

I found that I made a terrible mistake after I finished posting my last Create post. On the original ad, the first set of words read:

BOOST your skin’s own ability
TO PROTECT ITSELF
from environment stress and damage

and in the manipulated and edited ad, the first set of words read:

BOOST your own naïvety
and EXPOSE YOURSELF

But I realised that I missed the last line only after I’d finished manipulating everything. I’d intended to write: “Boost your own naïvety and expos yourself to environmental stress and damage” or something along those lines. Gimp doesn’t allow me to go back to a file and find all the layers there waiting for me so I didn’t know how to fix the font. I couldn’t move the words around to fit one more line so I at first didn’t know what to do. Eventually I settled on leaving the font as it was because it made a bit of sense anyway (without the ‘to environmental stress and damage’ part).

I thought I improvised really well when I manipulated the ad. The missing tooth/tooth gap was a completely out-of-the-blue idea (courtesy of my older brother). The “All Around Lies” was also a random idea that seemed to match the requirements of the final product. The yellow sparks on her face was something I found on Gimp and I felt that yellow sparks would look like a disease, or a (really) bad rash or just pimples or acne that would emphasise what could happen if a teenager (or if anyone) uses facial creams carelessly.

All in all, I faced no major problems with Gimp and with manipulating my ad. I’d added some steps in the middle of the whole process and switched around some of the original steps but the final product ended up to be pretty good, anyway. I could find my way around Gimp and solve any minor problems I had with covering font, smudging the and blending the right colour, adding text, etc.

What I thought was most troubling about the original ad was that it sounded too good to be true. The advertisers were clever about what they put and how they arranged the Nivea advertisement. They worded their text properly by inserting the words natural/environment/protect/powerful and so on. They didn’t choose a drop-dead, take-your-breath-away gorgeous model and chose a girl who had a simple and natural kind of beauty. They also chose their colours well because blue gives off a relaxing feel and is a refreshing and calming colour. If the colour was something sharper like bright red or bright purple, the ad wouldn’t have worked as well. Considering everything together, the ad was well put together and was a bit difficult to tackle at first.

After manipulating the ad, I made the girl look a little less perfect by getting rid of that glow and changing the text to reveal what could possibly happen if a customer just randomly buys a facial cream that sounds like it’s magnificent addition to your bathroom because it’ll protect your skin from environmental stress and damage. The ad may have been clever but the main idea is still the same. If you’re unhappy with your skin, if you think your skin’s still not strong enough and not good enough for you, then buy Nivea’s new product: All Around Protection. No matter what the company or what the advertisers do to make the ad sound honest, clear and not-intending-to-just-take-your-money, the idea and appeal is still for an audience that isn’t happy with who they are.

I think, taking into account the newly manipulated girl and the text, that the effect of my version of the ad brings out the truth a bit more. I start off the text with “Unhappy with who you are? Unsatisfied with your skin?” because that’s the truth! People who buy facial creams are unhappy with their skin, some more so than others. I think my version of this advertisement tells the truth and depicts some of the risky consequences that can sometimes happen when using facial creams.

Original & Final :: Before & After

 

[edit: the manipulated ad doesn’t seem to be showing up so here is a direct screen shot again:

]

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