WaterAid underlines the contrasting experiences of the advert’s UK audience with those experiencing water poverty in Africa. A carefully choreographed set of stylistic oppositions at the start of the advert reinforce this sentiment, with the opening shot of a rain-soaked British scene (composed as a claustrophobic closed frame mid shot) providing a stark contrast to the open-framed long shot of Claudia’s sun-soaked search for water.
In terms of diegetic sound usage, too, the rainy ambience of the first scene is replaced by the dry crunch of Claudia’s footsteps, whilst, visually, the green colour palettes of Britain transform into dusty browns of the African Savannah. These stylistic clashes are used, ultimately, to underline the stark disparities that exists between the viewers’ water rich existence and those less fortunate than themselves
Strauss tells us that media narratives work through the construction of conflict, presenting oppositional characters or events as a means of creating viewer interest or ideological messaging.
Media terminology used
The use of contrasting aesthetic elements. Oppositional colour palettes, editing styles, lighting treatments or compositions, for example, might be used to create visual interest.
Open frame composition
A composition that has no objects or frames at the edge. Closed frame shots usually connote freedom, but can suggest isolation if coupled with a long shot composition.