Describe the characteristics of the "Above the Influence" commerical -- the one with the leeches?for example music , colors, people or events that make it partcurly appealing to adolescent and...

Describe the characteristics of the "Above the Influence" commerical -- the one with the leeches?

for example music , colors, people or events that make it partcurly appealing to adolescent and disscuss why the are appealing?

Asked on by kerria90

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jseligmann's profile pic

jseligmann | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Associate Educator

Posted on

"Above the Influence" public service ads are meant to make young people, mainly high-school-age individuals, think about what they are doing when they take drugs or drink alcohol. The title says it all: rather than being "under the influence" of mind altering or mood changing chemicals, one should fight the temptations of one's in-group and of one's own body and be a real, free individual, unencumbered by dependency.

The particular ad that features the leeches is another excellent example of the ads as a whole. The production values are top-notch and yet simple and straight forward. The message in this one is hard to miss, slyly presented as it may be. Students (actors who are age-appropriate and believable) are engaged in a completely disgusting and bizarre activity, yet they are all drawn to it and ingnorant of its inherent repulsiveness. And they look upon it as completely normal and cool. Just like drug use in school, the authorities are at a loss to explain or control the scourge of this latest dangerous and self-debasing fad.

The message is clear and overwhelming: stop being so stupid and do something productive and good with this one life that is yours and yours alone.

pohnpei397's profile pic

pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

If the one I watched on YouTube is the one you're talking about, I'd say these are supposed to appeal to adolescents by making fun of adults who take things seriously (and to make fun of serious-sounding public service ads.)

What makes me say this is that they sound so super serious but yet the whole thing is pretty ridiculous.  The ad is kind of a parody of seriousness -- the colors are so drab, there's no music, the people are kind of talking in very monotone ways, etc.

As for the adults, the principal guy comes off looking kind of dumb.  He has his bald spot and he's yelling "don't you run away from me."

But then again, you ought to be way better at knowing why something appeals to adolescents than we adults are, right?

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