Two Takes on Global Warming--Commercial Vs. Public Service Announcement

The broadcasting class that I am taking at the City College of San Francisco requires that I consume and evaluate news of different mediums every week. Last week's theme was the commercial. The following ad is from the League of Conservation Voters and promotes an idea rather than a product:

A refreshing view on the neverending 2008 presidential eleciton? Perhaps. Both the sound ("It Ain't Easy Being Green") and the images (photographs of candidates from the past year slowly turning green) work well to carry the overall message. The ad only fails in that it doesn't provide any real solution--just food for thought. It functions better as a PSA than as a commercial.

Speaking of--this week we are focusing one was the public service announcement. I got this one on global warming at



This PSA relies on two things: the celebrity status of actor Kiefer Sutherland, and the appropriate urgency of his aptly named show, "24." He appeals to viewers as an everyman, saying that we must all monitor our "carbon footprint," and mentions enough scientific-sounding jargon to make the announcement seem legitimate. He almost had me until he referenced his own network as a valid resource for global warming information. At that point the PSA became less public, and more corporate.

Given this choice, I'd say the first ad appealed to me more as a young working woman. The information was better delivered through a variety of mediums, rather than relying solely on the popularity of an actor on a specific, conservative network. Thumbs up to the League of Conservation Voters.