Monday, November 10, 2008

Show & Tell: Narrative

For last week's class, I brought a Tretorn ad that was a photograph of a boy chasing a girl on a bike. I thought it might constitute a narrative, but it turns out the image itself isn't a narrative, it's a visual snippet, and as the viewer I create the narrative (he catches the elusive girl). Although, I think it was close to a narrative because it did show action . I think the main thing that prevents it from being a narrative is the fact that it didn't show a progression of time. I suppose that's the difference between vignette and narrative. Vignettes are snippets. Narratives include time.

I guess an important thing to discuss is to define what narrative is. Dr. Gisbon says it has to include two characters, conflict, time... maybe some other stuff. The dictionary defines narrative: a story or account of events, experiences, or the like, whether true or fictitious. So I think the most important part of narrative is that it's an account of events (plural!). So not characters, conflict, etc., but time.

Which brings me to this Candian Club whiskey ad, which is one of my favorite ads. I think this is a narrative because we see the images as retelling events, and the headline "Your mom wasn't your dad's first" is the thread between the images. With both these elements there is a narrative within the ad, rather than being supplied by the viewer--although, the viewer could easily add more to the narrative with some imagination.

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