The SPCA video posted on youtube.com by Hollatronix is to the tune of a slow, sad song with pictures of animals in horrible situations and narrated by Sarah McLachlan, asking you to donate money (Hollatronix). The intended audience is not very specific. The creators of the video want to appeal to the humanity in everyone. It is not aimed towards a specific audience because they are looking for donations, who the money comes from does not matter. Perhaps it was created specifically for animal lovers, but you do not have to love animals to feel bad when they suffer. The common thought towards animals in need is that of compassion, and the creators of the video use this emotion to accomplish their goal. This video uses pathos, ethos, and logos to convince the audience to donate money to the SPCA.
What pathos do they use? The video creators intend to make their audience sad and even feel guilty. At one point, Sarah even says, “This is your chance to say, “I won’t sit by while an animal suffers”” (Hollatronix). They want to make the audience feel guilty for not helping the animals, as if it is a crime. This wording is intended to convince you that it is not a nice gesture to donate, it is normal and you should be doing it. The video creators know what they’re doing because this tactic is incredibly effective. They also use pictures of a dog with his legs in casts, a limping dog, a shivering kitten, and a caged cat reaching out for help (Hollatronix). In another part of the video, Sarah says, “Please say you’ll be the answer for an innocent animal who’s suffering right now” (Hollatronix). This is a call to action, saying that while what is happening to these animals is horrible, you can fix it.
It is almost in a way, placing the responsibility on the audience. TRANSITION The video uses ethos to convince the audience, they use Sarah McLachlan to prove that she knows what she is talking about, she is an important figure so the audience should trust her. Merely her name and the fact that she is famous makes her someone the audience should listen to. Also, she acts as a spokesman for the animals, in a way. She explains how they’re feeling and the situations they’re in.
This causes the viewers to think things such as since she knows all of this, clearly she is trustworthy. After all, the animals cannot speak so someone has to for them. Using Sarah McLachlan as a spokesperson also uses the bandwagon idea, that everyone is doing something so the audience should too. She appears to be just a regular person but she is also someone famous and impressive, so the viewers should follow her.
TRANSITION also cite Logos is used in this video, although not very often. Logos is the concept of using facts and logic to convince someone of something. In this case, the SPCA video uses the statistic that, “every hour an animal is beaten or abused” (Hollatronix). This is supposed to be a very shocking fact that convinces the viewers that there are an abundance of animals who need help. The creators of the video also use “for just $18 a month you’ll rescue animals from their abusers, provide medical care, food, shelter, and love” (Hollatronix). The way they describe this absolute bargain is to prove that a small act on the viewer’s part will make a huge difference. It is supposed to convince them that this is a good deal and a good deed combined! This plays to the logical side of people. TRANSITION While this video caters to the emotions of most of society, there are those who are not interested in animals or what they need.
The creators of the video make the assumption that everyone who watches it will be compassionate towards the hurt dogs and cats. They also make the assumption that the people who do care about animals will be moved enough to call and donate. In an ideal world, this would work. Since it is not, they use Sarah McLachlan to convince people (especially fans of hers) that donating is cool. This is also where the bandwagon idea comes in again, those who would not want to donate could be pressured by society (and Sarah) to doing it.
Although, this is not entirely successful because