San Eric George
February 17, 2015
Animal Cruelty Commercial "Woof Woof", do you hear that sound? Oh great it’s another one of those dying dogs commercial… If you are one of the many individuals that have stumbled across one of Sarah McLachlan’s animal cruelty commercials, then you might have felt the emotion coming from it. It is extremely sad and will make your happy day turn into a depressing puddle of sorrow because of those clips of the poor dying animals. This short two-minute commercial uses many rhetorical devices to persuade people to donate money but particularly focuses on the use of pathos, sympathy, and empathy toward the audience. The commercial starts off with a close up shot of a dog that looks sad, then a statistic fact about animal abuse pops up. Then a small donation is kindly asked to help the organization prevent animal abuse. The BCSPCA (British Columbia Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) put together this video to help spread awareness on this ongoing issue and obtain donations to help rescue animals that are suffering from abuse. The targeted audience are people who are over eighteen years old or animal lovers, and/or who have money because it cost about sixty cents a day to help the organization. Sarah McLachlan who is a famous singer is seen in the video and also uses one of her songs to stir up emotional feel to the audience. Her famous song “Angel” can be heard playing in the background throughout the entire commercial. This song captures the hearts of the audiences because of her slow soothing voice and lyrics. In the song, she is asking you to be there angel; this can make a great connection to the audience because it will make them feel like a better person knowing they can be as much help as an angel. There is a strong use of pathos in this two minute commercial. It can be seen through the clips of animals, the music, pictures, words, and tone of voice of the speaker. The music that is being played is very slow and sad; it creates an empathetic connection throughout the whole commercial. Combining the music with the pictures and clips of the poor animal can really pull on a person’s heart by watching this. Seeing the lonely dog by itself that seems very sad can really make a person feel sympathy for these animals and thus want to donate to help the cause. When Sarah is speaking with a dog in her arms, it creates a sense that she really cares about the matter being talked about. Sarah also says things such as “an animal that needs your help” which really connects to the audience because she is speaking directly to them. This creates a good connection to the audience because it’s makes it more personal toward them. There is some ethos also used in this campaign as well. With Sarah McLachlan being a famous singer, she can be a great asset to targeting more audiences to this commercial. Her fans can recognize her so they may pay closer attention to what this commercial is about. She is not only recognizable for her singing; she is known for her appearance in many charity events. The Sarah Lachan Foundation created by her, is a music program that helps those in Vancouver. Seeing a very familiar face will make you feel comfortable watching a video because of the familiarity of the person or event.