The New York Donor Network launched a memorable ad campaign in August of 2013 called “Hate the Wait” to encourage organ donation registration among New Yorkers. Ten-thousand New Yorkers are on the organ transplant waiting lists and a new name is added ever two and a half hours, yet the percentage of New Yorkers registered as organ donors is less than half the national average. One of these ads was placed on New York City subways (see fig. 1). With the new ad, the donor network is targeting New Yorkers apathetic to organ donation to make them care enough to register as a donor.
Other ad campaigns including New York Donor Network's past “Keep Life Going” ads often feature bright colors, smiling faces, and words of gratitude from individuals whose lives were saved from an organ transplant. In contrast, the “Hate the Wait” campaign focuses on people who die waiting for an organ transplant, instead of focusing on those who are saved. When an apathetic viewer saw one of the old ...view middle of the document...
The viewers only see the individuals' feet while the rest of their body - including their face - are cropped out of the frame. With the individual who “died waiting in line” lacking a face, it allows viewers to imagine the face of a family member, one of their friends, neighbors, or themselves as the one who dies waiting in line instead of a stranger. By not showing the people's faces', the creators of the ad allows viewers to make the image much more personal because they can imagine the feet as being theirs.
By comparing people “waiting in line” for an organ transplant with waiting in line for a subway, the piece argues that the needs of organ transplant patient so far exceeds the petty annoyances of everyday waiting in line. The piece argues that waiting in line for an organ is far worse than waiting in line for traffic or at checkout because the consequences are so grave. People do not usually die waiting in traffic or in line at the grocery store checkout lane. Still, most people feel that waiting in line in traffic or at checkout is outrageous and are problems that should be prevented by better infrastructure or more cashiers. The idea of people waiting in line for a life-saving organ transplant can kindle the same feeling of outrage and make people feel this too is a problem which should be prevented.
The dark colors fit with the focus on death and give a serious feel to the ad. The dead man's pale feet and washed-out jeans are the only significant contrast the dark background colors of the visual, which make him stand out as the obvious subject of the piece. He is also the only one not wearing shoes, which not only makes him stand out but also communicates that he is dead because of the body identification tag around his toe. The viewer's eye naturally follows the line from the “first” man who's shoes are lower in the image, down the line to the feet which are higher in the visual. The dead man is the third/fourth feet in the line out of the five/six feet depicted in the image. Placing the dead man later in line allows the image to first set up concept that this is a line. Also, by putting the dead man farther back, the creators of the piece are also representing his place in the organ transplant line; too far back to live.