Type of paper: Essay

Topic: Pets, Driving, Friendship, Dog, Friends, Drunk Driving, Viewer, Family

Pages: 4

Words: 1100

Published: 2020/12/17

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The anti-drunk driving advertisements of today can often be harsh and shocking. Most are used to persuade individuals into not drinking, or remaining where they are when they have drank too much because something horrific could happen to himself, herself, or somebody else. We are all familiar with ads featuring car accidents, brain damaged scholars at the pinnacle of their high school careers, and amputees who have all suffered at the hands of drunk driving. These advertisements appeal to our sensibilities about staying safe and not causing harm to others; few individuals legitimately want to get behind the wheel in a maniacal drunken rage. However, there are few advertisements appealing to our emotions about those around us, or their emotions toward us. The shock value appears to be waning concerning advertisements featuring car accidents and cirrhosis of the liver, causing shift in the rhetoric of anti-drunk driving campaigns. Though equally manipulative, they now tease the human emotions, showing that lives and relationships are what should come before drinking and partying. Most powerfully is that fact that some of these advertisements, like “Friends Are Waiting,” show that more than just a driver’s life would be impacted by an accident.
Budweiser, always a thinly veiled advocate for anti-drunk driving, has begun a new campaign to strengthen sobriety behind the wheel. To do so, they have employed the help of a jovial, adorable golden Labrador, and a simple, carefree, relatable and average man. The commercial, entitled, “Friends Are Waiting,” aptly shows the two parties becoming friends. The adult man gets a puppy, and begins raising it. We see many typical scenes for a man raising a dog throughout the commercial. He tenderly carries the sleepy puppy through his door, and begins playing ball with it in the sunlight in his living room. The puppy is immediately at ease in his new home, chewing on shoes and getting into mild trouble. We see the puppy grow into a young dog as he runs after it, apparently having broken free from his leashes bondage at the park. Many scenes like this are rather comical, representing that the man is not abusive or mean, but thoroughly enjoying the somewhat demanding experience of being a pet owner. The two are happy. The dog is well loved and taken care of, and the man enjoys spending time with his dog. The dog is allowed on the furniture, happily wakes the man up in several scenes with his nose, and the two are then even seen carousing about with the man’s human pals. Throughout the commercial, of course, Budweiser paraphernalia is spotted multiple times on coffee tables and beach chairs .
Toward the end of the commercial, the man is seen uncharacteristically leaving his best four-legged friend behind. He gets into a car with his human friends, clearly going somewhere dogs are, unfortunately, not allowed. We realize at this point we have only seen the dog in parks, the man’s home, on a public dock, and other open areas where this would not have been an issue. Our minds immediately surmise the man and his friends are probably going out to dinner or to a bar, where the Labrador would likely not be welcome. The Labrador, looking noticeably lonely and forlorn, lays down in front of the door to wait. Faithfully he lies there waiting. He continues waiting for, to the viewer, what seems like forever. Just before the screen cuts to black, we come to the crushing realization we have been tricked. We have watched this loving, trusting, adorable Labrador bond and love this man and now he had left with his friends, drank irresponsibly, and his friend is going to wait forever because the man is dead.
The words do flash on the screen on moment later, saying, “For some, the waiting never ended.” The viewer feels their heart shatter into a million pieces, cursing the man and wondering irrationally if there is a number to call that would possibly allow them to adopt the dog. Simultaneously, we make about one thousand vows to never drink and drive, or leave a loved one waiting like this poor creature. Suddenly, the screen tells us more. “But we can change that.” That advertisement uses pathos, sending the viewer on a twisting rollercoaster of emotions.
First, we are overwhelmed with sadness; we assume the man has died and the dog will die waiting here for him by the door. The idea that we can change that, however, gives us hope. In addition, we are justified in having such hope because to our glorious surprise in the next frame keys can be heard jiggling in the lock, and the dog’s owner rushes in to greet him. The advertisement, only a minute in length, manages to make us feel so invested in the dog’s emotions and well-being, the viewer feels it is a miracle he will not suffer a moment longer without his owner. More importantly, we are so happy to see the man safe, and the two reunited. He smothers the dog with affection, telling it he’s sorry he was not home sooner, but he drank too much and did not want to drive home unsafely. The viewer is overjoyed to hear this. Once more, the driver had the dog’s best interests at heart and acted responsibly; he was simply trying to do what was best for his friend. In a way, his responsibly actions make the pet owner a responsible figure, appealing to ethos and earning our respect.
This ploy is effective on behalf of Budweiser because if emotions were not enough to make us obey the advertisement’s suggestions, it is also easier to listen to a respectable source. “Friends Are Waiting,” manipulates the viewer’s emotions for the best possible reason, utilizing our capacity to love the bond between an animal and a human to make us truly see how awful a death could be. We become emotionally involved in their friendship. When we believe the man does not come home, we are left with the sadness the dog may feel forever, primarily because it will never understand where the dog went. This is particularly effective to the emotions because there is no way to reason with a dog about a person leaving. You cannot explain death, or a drunk driving accident. There is simply there, and not there. Consequently, for the dog, he would have been abandoned. Whether he would have grown to hate the man, or even had the capacity to hate is inconsequential; the doleful look in his eyes is enough to make any viewer sympathize, as well as agree that drunk driving is terrible. When the man walks in, he is an answered prayer, to both the dog and the viewer.
While there is obvious rhetoric going on, the question remains, what is the advertisement promising? It is campaigning, of course, for anti-drunk driving, but that does not tell us what it is promising. The advertisement is actually brilliant in it’s subtly. Its promises are cloaked in unspoken possibilities and assurances. It does not promise if you do not drink and drive, an adorable Labrador will greet you at the door upon your return, or that a canine of any kind will be hurt. What it does promise, however, is that somebody will be hurt. Somebody, somewhere will be effected by your drunk driving; it will be your fault and though you will not have meant to hurt anybody, that will not make it okay. You will not be there to explain your intentions and people will think what they want. In fact, in may not even be anybody in your family. When the man leaves his home, he is with a group of friends, and he enters the car through a passenger door. We do not see which door he emerges from when he returns; there is nothing to suggest he drove himself home. Therefore, there is no evidence to suggest it was he who would have caused an accident due to drunk driving.
Bearing this in mind, had he been in the car while the driver was intoxicated and, hypothetically, the crashed into a tree and he died, the accident would not have directly been his fault. His dog would have remained just as miserable though, and would have remained just as ignorant to the situation. If it were a person waiting at home, while the luxury of explanations would be available, but it is unlikely that a mother, brother, cousin, or friend would care if the individual was directly or indirectly the cause of the accident. At the end of the day, all that matters is somebody is dead, and it did not have to end that way. Loved ones and friends do not want to lose anybody before they have to; drunk driving is avoidable. The advertisement promises that whenever an accident occurs due to drunk driving, somewhere there is a person or animal that is impacted, and it is the most heart wrenching feeling one could imagine.
In sum, “Friends Are Waiting,” is one of the kinder anti-drunk driving advertisements. Many are attempting to shock viewers out of drunk driving by showing them brain-damaged teens who cannot feed themselves, or prom queens in coffins. While this is effective to a certain audience, Budweiser has decided to take a different route. Using rhetoric primarily appealing to ethos and pathos, they tug tightly at the viewer’s heart strings as they make us fall in love with a Labrador, and later make us respect his owner for making good decisions and coming home to him, rather than leaving him unloved and alone in the world. Furthermore, the advertisement is continually effective because it makes an unspoken promise that, whether you are the driver or whether you have somebody waiting, somebody will be affected by poor decisions involving alcohol and a car. The very name of the ad, “Friends Are Waiting,” implies “friends” in the general sense. All of our friends are waiting. Anybody’s friends are waiting. Logically, we do not know who has friends who are waiting, whether they are ours, somebody in our car, or they belong to the person in the car we may hit. There are too many variables, and too many people to consider. Budweiser somehow gets this all across with a simple advertisement featuring a loving bond between a man and his dog. It is expertly done and should convince millions never to drink and drive again.

Works Cited

Budweiser. "https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eubWYPhcEEo." 14 September 2014. “Friends Are Waiting”. Video. 3 March 2015.

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WePapers. (2020, December, 17) Good Essay On A Sober Greeting. Retrieved September 25, 2021, from https://www.wepapers.com/samples/good-essay-on-a-sober-greeting/
"Good Essay On A Sober Greeting." WePapers, 17 Dec. 2020, https://www.wepapers.com/samples/good-essay-on-a-sober-greeting/. Accessed 25 September 2021.
WePapers. 2020. Good Essay On A Sober Greeting., viewed September 25 2021, <https://www.wepapers.com/samples/good-essay-on-a-sober-greeting/>
WePapers. Good Essay On A Sober Greeting. [Internet]. December 2020. [Accessed September 25, 2021]. Available from: https://www.wepapers.com/samples/good-essay-on-a-sober-greeting/
"Good Essay On A Sober Greeting." WePapers, Dec 17, 2020. Accessed September 25, 2021. https://www.wepapers.com/samples/good-essay-on-a-sober-greeting/
WePapers. 2020. "Good Essay On A Sober Greeting." Free Essay Examples - WePapers.com. Retrieved September 25, 2021. (https://www.wepapers.com/samples/good-essay-on-a-sober-greeting/).
"Good Essay On A Sober Greeting," Free Essay Examples - WePapers.com, 17-Dec-2020. [Online]. Available: https://www.wepapers.com/samples/good-essay-on-a-sober-greeting/. [Accessed: 25-Sep-2021].
Good Essay On A Sober Greeting. Free Essay Examples - WePapers.com. https://www.wepapers.com/samples/good-essay-on-a-sober-greeting/. Published Dec 17, 2020. Accessed September 25, 2021.
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