Curation Exercise T6 — Problem Gambling

“Problem Gambling Awareness” is video advertisement by an American based council, Ohio for Responsible Gambling, promoting responsible gambling. This particular advertisement was aimed at Youth gambling addicts who often run to their friends when they are out of money to gamble.

From a historical perspective, this advertisement breaks from the stereotypical depiction of gambling problem in a mundane. This breaks out from audience’s usual expectation of a gambling addiction advertisement, gaining the attention more than usual. This lighthearted approach starts from the casual staging of the casts, the home setting to the high key lighting. As the video aims to attract the youth, the mise en scene the director incorporates in the video, allows the target audience to put themselves at the shoe easily (metonymy).

Looking at it from a cultural perspective, the friend used as a symbol for ATM, works as a visual metaphor to convey that gamblers misuse friends as a convenient way to get money to gamble, as youths possibly can’t ask anyone else.

The idea of visual metaphor, shock advertisement and the issue of youth gambling are the key points that have inspired me for my final work.

A poster from Youth Gambling campaign by Bellwood Health Services

This is one of the series of posters from the Gambling addiction awareness campaign by Bellwood Health Services, Canada. This poster depicts a person lying on the sofa, holding on to a medicine bottle filled with dices.

As there are many technical aspects that have been used to construct this image, I would first use the Gestalt theory to highlight the key aspects that supports the objective of the message. The red colour of the dice stands out from the dull colours of the surrounding. It evokes a certain sense of emotional response signaling danger. The spotlight used to light the bottle of dice supports that emotional response. The shadows give a very mundane and mysterious feeling.

This poster also uses visual metaphors to depict its message about gambling. The dices in the medicine bottle symbolize drugs delivering a message that gambling is as addictive as actual drugs.

After observing various aspects of the poster, from a critical perspective, I can conclude that the persuasion technique used in this picture is pathos, tapping on the emotional response from the audience.

Once again the technique of using visual metaphor inspires me for my final project on the similar topic.