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Utilization of Parental Sacrifice in Metlife’s Commercial My Dad’s Story: Dream for My Child

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The bond a father creates with his little girl the first time she wraps her fingers around him will forever change his life. In society today, the idea of fathers being the “Prince Charming” or “Knight in Shining Armor” in their daughter’s lives is very prominent because that is the “role” of a father. While this is necessary in early development, one of the most important jobs a father has, besides providing protection, is to make numerous selfless decisions; getting a good education is among one of them. MetLife is a multi-insurance company that is known for the tagline, “MetLife values the dream of every parent to give their children a good education to pursue a better life. We understand every sacrifice you make for your children’s future. ” The Asian Insurance company here illustrates the truism many face when it comes to having an uncertain future that includes the posing threat of poverty. MetLife’s Hong Kong commercial, My Dad’s Story: Dream for My Child, uses pathos, logos, and ethos to shed light on parents who are struggling to provide the best education for their children, while trying to protect their child from the dark reality they are going through.

The commercial begins with the scene of a little girl handing her father a piece of notebook paper with everything she loves about him written down on it. As cheerful and upbeat guitar music begins to play, the audience knows the video is about to be a tear jerker. Many great characteristics about her father begin to be listed in the daughters voice, such as “he is the best daddy in the world”, “he is the most handsome”, “the smartest”, “the most clever”, “the kindest”, “he is my superman”, “he wants me to do well at school”, and “he is just great”. Scenes following after of the father with his daughter flash across the screen as evidence he truly does have the traits being listed. She is shown laughing at his clever jokes he is making towards her and a short clip of him clapping ecstatically in the audience is shown as his daughter wins first place for an essay she wrote in school. After being given a preview of the happy relationship they share, the uplifting music begins to fade. The commercial then takes a drastic turn as the daughter voices “but. . . he lies” and somber piano music begins to play. She begins to list to the audience that he lies to her about him having a stable job with steady income, never being exhausted, not having much of an appetite, and about them having everything, which includes his happiness. She concludes her narration with stating that he lies about these things because of her. As shown in the previous scenes where everything is upbeat, each of the lies are also accompanied by a fitting scene. This includes the father getting turned away from multiple areas to find a job, and him performing unwanted hard labor task to just provide his daughter food. MetLife has violins added into the music as the intensity grows to induce their audience into their wanted emotional state as she speaks her last line. The final words, “I love daddy. . . ” are shown on the note. The music cuts out and the father is shown standing in awe of his young daughter with tears filling in his eyes. Softer piano music begins to fade back in as the little girl runs into her father’s arms for a warm embrace and he is sobbing. The violins begin to cut back in to add the dramatic element back into the scene. “A child’s future is worth every sacrifice, ” is displayed in white as the screen goes to black and emotional music continues to play. A scene of the father and daughter walking away, smiling and laughing together is the ending frame for the commercial. “Pursue more from life” is then displayed on the screen with the MetLife’s company logo following.

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Parental sacrifice is the crucial underlying issue thoroughly projected throughout the commercial. The producer takes advantage of Aristotle’s pathos appeal to pull on the audiences heart-strings and persuade those who are parents in particular to focus more on the well-being of their children. In fact, music is known to play a vital role when appealing to one’s emotions and this advertisement impeccably does so. The music in the video is perfectly in sync to the script that when the daughter is describing how great her father is, witty and bubbly music is played because that is what is often associated with little children. Love and reverence shown from the daughter to her father is an instant appeal to parents, leaving them with the nostalgic feeling they once had or are having with their own children. The same goes when the audience begins to view the outside struggles of the father. Dramatic and somber piano music begins playing in the background when the little girl is narrating what she has been witnessing her father go through. The advertisement is brought full circle when the father and daughter are having a warm embrace and the music culminates, leaving the viewer processing everything they just watched or sobbing their eyes out. By evoking these feelings, one may feel influenced to join because they feel emotionally attached to the video.

MetLife employs logos through demonstrating how people without education, in this case the father, often suffer to provide a stable home or invest for the future. The single father portrayed in the video is at first shown as a proud, genuinely happy father who has a very close-knit relationship with his daughter. However, it is later reflected that the father is barely making it through the day by juggling multiple hard labor jobs to provide his daughter with a comfortable life. This hits home, not only for parents, but for older audience members that may learn to appreciate their parents or single parent even more. No parent in any world would want their children exposed to hardships and more so often, parents always have good intentions for their children to live better lives than they did. This idea is reiterated in the scene with the job provider where he is rejected; therefore, hinting the father more than likely did not receive an education and does not want the same for his daughter. The father in the video also figures it would be better for her to be shielded from their reality because it would be more detrimental having his daughter know the truth and believe he suffers because of her. Due to their financial state, education might be causing a huge dent in the father’s wallet. He however does not want his daughter to associate him wanting to level up her education as the reason her father is struggling because she is still young and unexperienced. Unfortunately, one day she will grow up and she will not always be protected from the harsh society many live in today. The only thing that a parent really can do is protect, provide, and prepare their child the best they can to reassure they are ready to handle whatever is thrown at them. This brings us to the hidden message towards the end of the advertisement which is “A child’s future is worth every sacrifice. ” MetLife uses this message to furnish another tagline of their own that conveysthat a person cannot change their destiny, but they can always do something to form it into a better one for themselves and those around them. MetLife is known to be one of the largest insurance providers that “serves 90% of the largest Fortune 500 companies in United States and around the world”. Based on the information above, MetLife is able to evoke their ethos appeal from the audience. This means one may trust the brand based on its credibility and decide to join because many others do. This commercial advertisement sells the truth as a way to help their customers pursue the most out of their life. They promote this idea in the advertisement when the little girl and father embrace after he reads her note. It shows that after all the long days of putting on a front for his daughter, she now knows the truth and he no longer has to hide what he has being doing to help provide because she acknowledged the issue herself. She does this, so he can know he is no longer alone and does not have to lie to her no more. Therefore, MetLife has created the profile that they are a top selling insurance company that advertises the truth.

My Dad’s Story: Dream for My Child has been viewed as one of the most awed and emotional advertisements in the industry. Although this commercial is targeted towards a specific group of people, many are able to have a take away from it because it serves a purpose to promote betterment towards society. This means the world’s population is constantly growing and many children are still not receiving the proper education needed to succeed in the world today which is detrimental to society. Education is what allows people to reach their full potential and bring great honor to the family name which is big in Asian culture. It is the gateway to a more united community and MetLife wants to get this message out there. Through the use of effective music, a prevalent issue in today’s society, and credible truth, MetLife creates an effective piece in which many are able to relate and put their trust into joining their insurance company.

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