I’m always interested in PSAs, especially ones that try to infuse a little information into their concept. My favorite projects are what I call “visual essays,” a term I’ll be developing further at Offf in NYC. Visual essays are the motion graphics equivalent of written essays. They build an argument through the use of pointed facts and rhetorical devices, but because they can leverage the power of audio/visual stimuli, they can reach a much wider audience in a shorter period of time than most literary media.
DAf’s spot is full of cleverness and fun details, like the Euro-shaped puffs of smoke from the tractor and the use of a corkscrew to “pull up” the bars of a bar graph. The best bit, though, is the fact that they not only included the 850,000,000 figure, but that they then underscored its enormity by showing its relationship to the European Union. That’s the sort of visual that gets lodged in a person’s brain. It’s the kind of information that can be internalized, digested (pardon the pun) and then re-disseminated by the audience, effectively creating a virus of data. I love it.