Ad Analysis Essay

Submitted By carojp
Words: 1262
Pages: 6

Peterson 1
Caroline Peterson
Writing 101
26 September 2013 Drink, Drank, Drunk: It’s a White Girl Problem In 2011, Above the Influence released an advertisement titled “Sick” as part of the Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign. It was mostly shown on video websites such as YouTube and Hulu. The ad fights back against underage drinking by challenging the audience to rise above alcohol-related peer pressure. The target market is white teenage females between the ages of fifteen and eighteen with that easily succumb to peer pressure and may already drink alcohol. The ad gives a scenario in which drinking alcohol yielded an unfortunate result. However, the scenario given stereotypes the way that white girls drink alcohol. When the ad starts we hear rave music in the background and the door to a bathroom swings open. A girl who appears to be between the ages of sixteen and nineteen stumbles into the bathroom. She is dressed in a light pink tank top over a black bandeau, black skinny jeans, and black high heeled boots. Her shoulder length red hair is tousled and messy. Her makeup is very dark and smudged around her eyes. As she makes her way to the toilet her knees barely hit the ground before she leans in and starts throwing up. While she is still hanging in the toilet, the camera view switches to the toilet bowl. Floating in the bowl, there is a crumpled up piece of paper with 90% written at the top, a trophy that features a girl playing tennis, pictures printed out from a photo booth, and a small notebook that has been doodled on. When she finishes
Peterson 2 throwing up, she pulls herself up and leans back against the wall. Words, colored white, appear on the screen and read “You’re not the only thing getting wasted.” The camera reverts back to the initial overhead view of the bathroom. We see that the toilet bowl is no longer empty and the gray rug is bunched up. The girl, sitting up against the wall next to the toilet with her legs somewhat curled, slumps down more and takes a deep breath. The above the influence campaign symbol appears in the lower right hand corner and the screen proceeds to go black. After watching this ad, we can assume that the obvious message they are making is not to drink. The reason being that your life will be ‘wasted’. However, it’s hard to follow that message because this scenario seems too made up. It is almost as if the Above the Influence marketing team sat around in a room and asked each other “How many stereotypes can we put into one commercial?” From her clothes to her facial expressions, this girl is the poster child of the “white girl wasted” stereotype. There are many stereotypes about the ‘wasted white girl’ that are known in twenty-first century American culture. First and foremost, despite her best efforts, she cannot hold her liquor. It’s practically in her DNA to reject fermented yeast so, she’s always throwing up. The second most common stereotype is that once she starts drinking, she can’t stop. She has little self control and can’t help but take another round of shots. She drinks to excess and often ends up blacked out or on the floor by the end of the night. Another big stereotype is that she parties every weekend. Since she started drinking around the tenth grade, she hasn’t been able to resist a party or a chance to go out. She used to really have it all before she became the life of the party. She can’t keep up with her stellar grades, being captain of her sports team, and racking up the
Peterson 3 accolades because she’s too busy living it up and drinking it down on the weekend. Lastly, with her head over the toilet, she has a ‘come to’ moment where she reflects on her obsessive behavior. She’s humiliated, alone, and in shambles. She longs to find her sweet-innocent self again and realizes that she has really messed up her life. She lost her dignity, identity, and true friends some-odd beers ago and feels like a failure. However, she cleans up,…