I chose to do an analysis of a Red Cross Poster encouraging students to donate blood in the HUB over various days in September.
First glance at poster:
The first thing that jumps out about this poster is its simplicity. There is very little that makes this poster jump out at its viewer. However, when you look closely at the poster there are many messages that jump out.
- The bright red letters that read “Blood Drive”: This is the first thing that jumps out at the viewer. This explicitly tells the viewer of the poster what the poster is advertising.
- The saying “Bleed Blue”: This provides the connection of the poster to the viewer. The target audience of the poster is clearly college students at Penn State. Penn State students generally have lots of school spirit built up in them, so relating donating blood to supporting Penn State makes it more likely someone would donate blood because they feel it will make them more accepted in the academic community.
- The picture of the two men at the football game: This further anchors a tie to the Penn State community and also draws attention because blood drives and football games are not usually synonymous. This causes the reader to go further down the page and read about the giveaway offered if you donate blood.
- The Donor of the Game Football Package: After dragging the viewer of the poster around the page, the viewer finally finds the hidden gem. Every college kids dream is free things, especially if that means Penn State football tickets and an opportunity to get recognized during some of the biggest games of the year.
The civic aspect of the poster:
This poster is calling Penn State students to get more involved within a specific
Penn State community. However, on top of that, they are inviting donors into a community of people all over the country who donated blood to help the national shortage of blood. Giving blood implies that you will help someone else down the line, giving the donor a good feeling on the inside. It is a way to make the donor feel good about themselves for little effort or work. It is similar to “slacktivism,” however here the donor is giving up something to support the cause.
The rhetoric aspect:
Donating blood also allows donors to connect who would not connect otherwise. This provides the opportunity for good rhetorical discussions between the two parties because it provides a serious baseline (the blood drive) for the basis of discussion.
Intro: These posters are found scattered on bulletin boards around campus. Its message is as simple as a calling for people to donate blood, however its approach to this is much deeper. The seemingly plain poster calls viewers to engage in a serious civic duty, one that helps save many lives year after year.
Conclusion: The connections this poster evokes with the viewer is much deeper than just a call to action. Its use of connecting with the school spirit of students allows them to feel a deeper connection to this cause of the civic connection behind donating blood.