Visual Rewrite – themildewmuncher7

Shampoo .01

00:01 – The advert begins with a plastic shampoo bottle seemingly placed next to a tub. There is typical tiling of a bathroom on the wall in the background and the porcelain tub closer to the foreground. The bathroom is most likely part of a house or hotel, as it is fairly generic in nature. This shot is focused on the shampoo, hinting that it will be the primary character in the advert. The shampoo itself is very generic, meaning it’s very unlikely that the advert is for a specific brand.

Shampoo .03

00:03 – The shot then skips to a wider view of the bathroom, with the notably present, although out of focus, shampoo bottle taking up the foreground. It almost looks as if the shampoo bottle is “watching” the bathroom. There is a small boy in the bathroom using the sink. The bathroom as a whole seems to be rather upscale in nature, however it is unclear whether this has anything to do with the nature of the advert.

Shampoo .05

00:05 – The camera zooms in on the child, giving a clear image of him in the mirror as a young Asian boy. Perhaps this will hold significance if he appears later in the advert? He also appears to be drowsy, as if he had just woken up and is about to take on the day. He has yet to shower, as the mirror is unfogged. This implies that the shampoo bottle hasn’t even been used, yet is still a large focus of the advert.

Shampoo .06

00:06 – The time of the advert then switches, once again with the shampoo present. Although to the side, it is very much in focus along with the fogged up glass shower wall. This allows us to infer that the bottle was recently used. A woman is present in the background and seems to be applying makeup while wearing more formal attire, maybe getting ready for an event of some sort.

Shampoo .08

00:08 – The focus of the shot switches, revealing that indeed the woman is at the sink/mirror applying makeup and getting ready for something. It is presumed to be nighttime, as the lights in the room are on. It should also be noted that the format of the bathroom is very similar to the one with the boy, perhaps meaning it is the same one and that the lady is either the boy’s mother or his older sister.

Shampoo .09

00:09 – Shot change, this time someone in a purple bathrobe is with the good ‘ol shampoo bottle. They are grabbing the bottle as if about to use it for something. This something is most likely not a shower, as they are grabbing the bottle from the outside. Once again, the glass is fogged up hinting that the shower has recently been used.

Shampoo .11

00:11 – The person in the purple bathrobe is revealed to be a young Asian girl, too young to be the woman in the previous scene and not a boy enough to be from the first scene. She has the shampoo bottle in her hands but is not using it for normal shampoo purposes, but instead utilizing just the bottle itself as a microphone stand-in. She is walking through the bathroom, which once again is clearly the same as the setting from the first two scenes. This also appears to take place in the afternoon, judging by the angle the light is coming in through the window.

Shampoo .12

00:12 – This next shot is very reminiscent of the first, as it is taken in the exact same location and with the same lighting and positioning of objects around the shampoo bottle. The key difference, however, is that the bottle is showing some classic “I’ve used this shampoo a lot” wear and tear by having crusty contents caked on and around the lid. This develops somewhat of a connection with the bottle. Although completely inanimate, it has been shown to have somewhat of a life cycle, being used for multiple things and now visibly aging.

Shampoo .13

00:13 – Very suddenly, the old shampoo bottle is jerked away and replaced by a brand new one. The person in charge of the replacement would seem to be a woman, judging my the hand structure and jewelry. Perhaps it could be the lady that was getting ready in the bathroom before? Or maybe a different member of the family? It turns out it had reached the end of its life cycle, and no longer serves a purpose in the bathroom, being favored by a bottle with fresh contents.

Shampoo .14

00:14 – The old bottle is taken by the replacer and tossed dramatically into a recycling bin, as was identified by the universal recycling symbol. The frames are put into slow motion as the bottle hits the inside of the can. The casual manner it is done in hints that this is a regular occurrence and happens, or should happen, a lot.

Shampoo .15

00:15 – The camera then fades instead of jump cutting like it had been doing previously when switching scenes. This suggests maybe a change in scenery, maybe a new location as opposed to the bathroom we had been so accustomed to throughout the rest of the advert. From the recycling bin, the camera switches to what appears to be a comb, which also has an identical logo printed on it.

Shampoo .16

00:16 – The comb is the center of the image now, with the camera following it as it’s picked up. It is moving quickly away from its original resting place which seemed to be a bathroom sink. It is unable to be determined if the bathroom is the same as the one previously pictured.

Shampoo .18

00:18 – Aside from this shot showing one of the creepiest smirks in existence, it also reveals where the comb was headed. A white man, different from anyone previously shown, is using it to comb his hair. He is wearing a dress shirt as is determined by his collar. He is presumably using the comb to get ready for a day or work or meeting of some sort. It is entirely possible that he is a member of the family in the beginning of the advert, as an older male figure was never shown and it is possible, with a very basic observation of race, that he could be the father of the kids. He is also not looking at himself in the mirror, but rather his eyes seem to be directed towards something by his side.

Shampoo .22

00:22 – After four whole seconds of that guy combing his hair, he moves the comb downwards, with the camera following it the entire way. It is then apparent that he is giving the comb to a very young boy for him to use, who is assumed to be what he was looking at previously. This boy is not the same as the one from the first scene as he is a bit younger and very different physically.

Shampoo .23

00:23 – A wider shot shows the two characters standing next to one another combing their hair together using the comb from the first shot. The bathroom is certainly not the same as the one from the first three scenes, as it is considerably smaller and has differing features. This implies heavily that this is a different setting entirely, probably a different family.

Shampoo .25

00:25 – A jump cut then skips to the comb next to the sink alone, without the two characters that were just in the room. It is placed in such a way that the recycling symbol is clear and obvious, very reminiscent of the image on the side of the recycling can that the original shampoo bottle was thrown into. The text “Give your garbage another life.” also centers itself across the screen. This tells the viewer that the shampoo bottle was transformed through the magic of recycling into a comb. Despite losing its use as a shampoo bottle, it was revived as a comb. The advert is entitled, “A Bottle Can Dream,” personifying the bottle that has since been returned from the dead and “fulfills its dream,” in essence.

Shampoo .28

00:28 – The last frame of the advert is a black screen with the word “Recycle.” printed across the middle. It is in italic, very contrasting text that is very clear (white on black is so much nicer than black on white, right?). A website for further information is also given along with the organization Keep America Beautiful from the Ad Council, who put out the advert.

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4 Responses to Visual Rewrite – themildewmuncher7

  1. themildewmuncher7 says:

    Feedback was requested.

    Feedback provided.


  2. davidbdale says:

    01. Surprising that a generic shampoo bottle would be the primary character in an advertisement? What possible importance could it have? By the way, not a still shot of the bottle: the camera zooms in on it slowly and significantly. Yes the tile is generic, but not without character. It’s wide, not square, which is very contemporary. It’s either very new or very well maintained. I guess it could be in a hotel, but when is a full-size bottle of shampoo in a hotel?

    03. That bathroom makes a claim about the economic status of this family, if we’ve established this is a family home. Love that the bottle is “watching,” emphasizing the importance of its “character”?

    05. Nice. Unfogged mirror. Any way to indicate time of day? Boy’s drowsiness most likely upon waking?

    06. Getting ready for her second job on the late shift at Walmart? Or dressing for a nonprofit fundraiser? Who are these people?

    08. Nice. Now the lights indicate nighttime. Did they indicate daytime earlier?

    09. Dispute that. The girl (it turns out) grabs the bottle from inside the shower.

    11. Want to make a claim that the shampoo is important to the whole family? So far, we haven’t seen any other shampoos featured. Does everybody use it?

    12. It’s “used-ness” would reinforce the impression. Nice observations by you here.

    13. Your commentary ignores the obvious recycle basket.

    14. Redeemed here. How to balance the “dramatically” and the “slow motion” with your “casual” and “happens a lot” comments? Is it common for the human residents but significant and dramatic for the bottle? 🙂

    15. Maybe the fade indicates: Chapter Two.

    16. If the directors had wanted to indicate a different setting, they could easily have chosen a sink or fixtures radically different from those in the original bath. Does this NOT DIFFERENT choice support that we’re in the same bathroom or a different one? We’re not looking for PROOF here (which could easily be provided by the very different fixtures), just SUPPORT, which the similar fixtures provide.

    In other words, when is the ABSENCE OF PROOF persuasive?

    18. Nice work by you.

    22. Now that we’ve been made to wonder, “Is this the dad?,” have we been subliminally prepared to think of the man as Dad, so that we immediately conclude he’s this boy’s dad? Provocative question.

    23. Why do you suppose we’ve switched to a new scene, new family, new bathroom, new product in an ad that will only run a few seconds longer? What is the rhetorical purpose of this change of scene?

    25. OHHHHHH. We need a new scene to indicate that the bottle has been transformed and has traveled. Could that have been accomplished with the original family and bathroom? Or would we have been confused? This is a critical question about the rhetorical strategy at work here. Can you address it?

    28. Care to address the target audience for this ad, based on what you can conclude from the cast of characters and the settings in which we find them?

    Nice work, MM.
    Reply, please.


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