Sample Completed Project (with commercial)
Rank's intesify/downplay schema applied to the 2009 Coca Cola soda shop ad
- Omission: The message seems to be that coca cola makes you human. They downplay how cola is bad for you and give the impression that coca cola is the only cola that will help you reach out to others and connect in a very disconnected world.
- Diversion: The organizing theme of the ad deals with diversion. We are drawn to focus on how alienating all these technologies we use are. So, we focus on this other message instead of the actual product. The product, coca cola, is presented as the solution to the alienation.
- Confusion: Throughout most of the ad the viewer has no idea what is going on. We are led through a confusing landscape in which people are immersed in their digital devices and they become digital animations. We wonder what the product could possibly be. It isn't until the last moments when the guy goes into the soda shop amidst all these digital animations and touches the hand of a digital ogre while reaching for his coke that we get the message. The ogre turns into a girl and they connect with one another on a human level. We get an aha moment: I get it!
- Repetition: The repetition of digital figures focused on electronic devices while the guy is walking creates the theme of alienation and separateness. In a soda shop full of soda the only human is the one with the coke. Also, the music creates a theme that resounds: In a world full of strangers when we connect face to face "we are strangers no more..."
- Association: Technology = bad (separates us from one another), Coke = good (brings us together for real human connection)
- Composition: A guy is walking on a busy city street. He sees these people who are focused on their digital devices turn into digital figures completely immersed in their technology. Vignettes of abandoned loved ones are almost secondary (lonely dog waiting with a ball, baby being ignored by mom). As he walks into a soda shop everyone inside is immersed in their technology. He sits down by an ogre, reaches for his coke at the same time as the ogre does. Their hands touch and the ogre turns into a girl. The only things that exist in this commercial are technology and coke. They are set up as opposing values. The coke typeface on the bottle and on the soda shop sign at the end of the commercial intensify this battle. They create a sense of deep traditionalism and nostalgia amidst an alien digital landscape.