“Sweet Kills” ad-campaign photo

To analyze the following ad-campaign photo I chose Foss’ visual rhetoric methodology. I chose this methodology for a few reasons–mostly because I felt most comfortable with a rhetorical approach. I chose to go with the function of the image approach Foss outlines. I specifically thought of how the image operated within our own classroom, since Foss says the the artifact or visual image using the functional approach is how the image operates for it’s viewers, which is not necessarily the same thing as its purpose.

I thought about how it functioned in our class as an image of repulsion. Multiple members of the class reacted negatively to the image, refusing to look at it. It had the effect of acting as perhaps a deterrent. Though, I think that the visceral reaction of the audience is so strong in some cases that it overrides the purpose which is to get people to pay attention to the main message, which is to show people how diabetes can cause severe health problems including the slower healing process of wounds when someone has diabetes.

Specifically focusing on the functional aspect of visual rhetoric methodology or choosing not to use some of the other methodologies ignores the larger story or narrative that the creators are using. It also ignores the aesthetics and specific choices of using the desserts to stand in for actual wounds, rather than showing actual wounds. The aesthetic choices within these pieces seem specifically important to me because of the particular choices for the dessert to represent wounds, but also the use of white space in particular behind all the images also seems important to the overall composition of the piece. A symbolism visual rhetoric perspective may help fill in some of those gaps, but some of the other methodologies may have helped focus in on this issue in particular better.