Power of the Positive

I am fascinated by PSAs. I am especially interested in what I believe to be a false assumption that the more graphic the ad, the more effective it will be in delivering its intended message to viewers. I can think of recent ads from the UK regarding txting while driving, and ads from Ontario on workplace safety that received much attention due to virality and mainstream media coverage. However, I wonder what effect such videos actually have in the end. Can anyone point to a decent study on the possible correlations?

Aside: The PSA I remember most from the 90’s was about Methamphetamine. And it was not because it was graphic, but because I found the song in the advertisement to be really, really catchy. Not a good thing.

OK, so back to my train of thought. Today I came across a brilliant PSA about seatbelt safety from Sussex Safer Roads in the UK. Wow. A beautifully constructed video with a solid, touching message that hits home. Wonderful!

So I thought, why aren’t there more examples like this? I though of the recent, bizarre political ads from New Orleans and the misdirected, personal attack ads from two of our Canadian political parties. Am I na├»ve to believe that positive messages can bring us forward as a society, and that all of this negativity is truly a drain on our collective spirits? Maybe this ‘relatively new parenting thing’ is just rubbing off on me, giving me crazy ideas about hope and positivity.

Or maybe we just need to turn the corner.

Powerful, Inspirational Videos

I made my students cry today. I cried.

Baby Eliot
We were investigating the power of media, specifically, students listed videos that drew great emotional responses. Irma sent me this video, 99 Balloons, a story about baby Eliot who was born with Edward’s syndrome. This is an incredibly touching story about Eliot, his very loving parents and their experience. It’s very powerful. See the video here.

I just noticed another powerful video, albeit in a different way, on The Cool Cat Teacher Blog. Vicki writes, “Whatever your beliefs, you should see this video. It is a message to all of you leaders out there who are reading this blog.” I agree.

Put together, these two videos reminded me of the Dick Hoyt video I blogged about almost a year ago.

That one also made me cry, but these types of video inspire me to be a better leader, a better father and a better person.

Have any videos inspired you lately? What are the most powerful videos you have ever seen? I’d love you to share.

Update: I’ve started a wiki for these inspirational videos. Feel free to add or edit!