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TV Advert Writing

Have a look at the example in red below. We've been working on creating variety in our writing through our handy (you see what I did there?) diagram:

In class we've worked on our vocabulary looking at:

Positive / Negative Vocabulary and how to create oxymoron.
Increasing our range of sophisticated vocabulary.

We've developed devices to add satire, irony and sarcasm to our writing:

Stating the Obvious
Descriptive Imagery
Making Comparissons
Rhetorical Questions

With our sentence structures we've tried to use our skills creatively:

Varying Length
Complex Sentences with pivot in attitude.
Complex Sentences with embedded sarcastic clauses
Compound descriptive sentences leading to short high impact sentences with opinions

Our punctuation has become useful to achieve not just accuracy but effect:

Parenthetic commas, brackets and dashes
The Semi-Colon for extending imagery
The liberal use of exclamation marks.

Finally paragraphing draws our whole text together with:

Variety in length
Effective use of discourse markers.

So my challenge to you Year 11 is:

Read below and leave a comment:

What went well?

What could make this even better? 

Can you remember that feeling of deep-seated panic when your phone goes off in the cinema? The embarrassment of lifting the phone out of your pocket to turn it off only to be illuminated in the pallid green glow of shame and have your face melted by the glares of one hundred and fifty angry Monster’s Inc fans (including the creepy middle aged man who doesn’t seem to have brought children or a date). It’s hideous. It only has to happen once for you to never want to own a phone again. 

Here is the effective deterrent.  Absorbing the ire of a multitude of strangers clearly outweighs the crime of not turning your mobile off (off not silent) and when the punishment is more severe than the crime, people tend to grow a moral compass. This is what has happened since a Finnish designer at Nokia liberated Alexander Graham Bell’s mouthpiece from the hall table and one unfortunate consumer couldn’t find the off button in a screening of Jurassic Park.

Orange has a solution to this problem. To save us from the embarrassment they make us sit through five minutes of excruciating audio-visual hell.

Cue cringe-worthy puns, poorly thought out dialogue and the most heinous crime of all: the solution to a problem that does not exist. 

The premise: ‘Don’t let phones ruin your movie’.

Let’s examine that statement. The phone has never ruined a film. One blast of Mozart’s 9th blared through the tinny speakers in digital polyphonic beauty doesn’t distract me. I enjoy watching a person squirm because all eyes are on them. The pain on their face is delightful. In fact, I’m pretty sure the latest Bourne film would be very short without a mobile phone. All witnesses would be dead and Jason Bourne would not have to constantly evade the CIA because he would be untraceable. Generally, movies are built around communication between sets of characters that 90% of the time takes place on a mobile phone. Phones make movies.

The marketing meeting must have been brilliant for this advert:

‘Hey – this product we sell, it ruins things – why don’t we point it out?’

But behind this there’s a subversive attempt to sell us a lifestyle ingrained deep within the advert, which is fantastically clever. It builds a picture of the chief executive as a bumbling fool and the everyman ‘underling’ trying in vain to turn the situation around. The sinister twist is we find ourselves identifying more with the boss than with the everyman. The advert manipulates us into doubting our own intelligence, our own inbuilt nature not to make a scene and our own natural morality in avoiding punishment. The doubt sees our hand slowly creep towards our trousers like a toddler desperate for a wee.

Bang. Then the advert really hits us; they present the most common mobile phone ring tone out of sync with the advert sending hearts leaping through mouths and hands shooting into pockets causing hours’ worth of psychotherapy sessions because you can ‘feel the eyes on you’.

Exploiting humanities’ guilt complex is what I loathe. I loathe it far more than the poorly constructed advert, dialogue, shots, puns and message. I almost loathe it more than the feeling of being caught with your phone on.

This advert is a fantastic piece of work, if you display a deranged obsession with sadism. I can remember the deep-seated panic of when my phone went off at the cinema and now I’m reminded of it every time I blow my life savings on a film. 

Orange – a phone didn’t ruin my movie: your advert ruined my life.

Year 11 Homework Part 2

As I know you will all be short of something to do with the school closing today, here is an update of your next three weeks homework.

You are going to be writing newspaper columns. To improve your understanding of the form, you need to bring in an article you have read each single lesson with 100 words of your own writing based on the same topic.

You should be trying to achieve the same style and effect that the columnist has achieved without copying their work.

There is a real difference between newspaper columns and newspaper reports. A column is usually written by the same person and is opinion based on a topic of the writer's choice (usually something in the news).

Features of a column are usually:

1st Person
Strong Opinions / Often Bias
Sarcasm / Irony
Often humorous and less formal in tone.

To help you with this, I need you to read at least one column per week (more if you really want to hone your skills) and then try to write your own comment piece based on the topic in your article. In lesson we will then compare your writing with the writing of the pro.

Below are a list of columnists you may wish to check out and the publications they often write for.

Caitlin Moran - @caitlinmoran The Times

Grace Dent - @Gracedent The Independent / Evening Standard / The Guardian

Eva Wiseman - @Evawiseman The Guardian

Sophie Heawood - @heawood The Guardian / The Independent / Vice

Charlie Brooker - @charltonbrooker The Guardian

Stewart Lee - @stewlee The Independent / The Guardian / The New Statesman

David Mitchell - @RealDmitchell The Guardian

Here is a link from Grace Dent you may like.

Be opinionated, witty and wise.

Happy writing.

Mr Milne
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