Identifying the Elements of a Visual Argument
The advertisement entitled “Mattel’s New M-16 Marauder” shows a child holding a very realistic looking toy rifle. This visual is a strong statement about a time when America was in the grips of the Vietnam Conflict and the possibility of drafting little boys who were soon to become young men. In the last 40 years advertisements have considerably changed. Today’s marketing experts have to consider the impact of their products on a myriad of ethnicities and cultures. Political correctness must always be observed. The M16 Rifle was created in the 1960’s. It was perfectly acceptable for Mattel to design a toy to mimic the M16, taking advantage of a culture where war was front-page news. Today many find the idea of any weapon as a toy to be offensive.
There is an old saying that a picture says a million words. Back in the era of the Vietnam War the military needed as much support as they could get; winning the war was very important. Companies put on campaigns that promoted the draft. The Marauder M-16 gave young children the chance to pretend they were soldiers. This strong image could have strongly influenced brain washing in young children. Mattel’s ad depicts a young child holding a realistic toy gun with phrases in the background such as “Braap Braap”, imitating the sound of a actual gun. Back then, and in today’s time, this could have been very dangerous to youth because they are the future.
The central image of Mattel’s new M-16 Marauder depicts a young boy around the age of nine or ten, aggressively holding an M-16 Marauder. This young boy is dressed in a t-shirt, long pants, and white shoes. The M-16 Marauder boldly stands out with dark color and size. The young boy’s stance is of him aiming at someone or something very aggressively with his finger placed on the trigger. Words “BRAAP,...
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