Sappy Suburu Commercial

Subaru’s Call to Action

The Japanese car company, Subaru, is known for its safety and for manufacturing affordable family cars. In the 2020 Subaru commercial, The Subaru Commercial, “Moment of Silence,” viewers’ heartstrings are pulled as they see the universally understood feelings of grief and helplessness that car accidents cause. The ad opens with the scene of a totaled Subaru outback. A man in his 30s is standing in his driveway, assessing the damage of the car as he monologues about the series of events that led up to the crash.

The man states that out of the corner of his eye, he saw the car [illegally] driving over the median, and there was nothing he could have done to avoid the crash. The viewer sees the grill and hood of the car, which have crumbled severely. It seems this part of the vehicle that had sustained the most damage and taken the force of the crash. While this is happening, the camera pans on the teal car seat that is in the rear of the car, which appears to be undisturbed. The audience is suddenly troubled, wondering if the child survived the crash. Suddenly, the totaled car has vanished from the driveway, and a newer model of the vehicle in the same color has taken its place. This all happens as a toddler girl emerges from the open garage skipping. The audience is relieved. She exclaims, “Daddy!” 

The man explains the turn of events. He says, “She is safe because of our first outback.” The audience now understands that a new one has replaced it. He then goes on to say, “…and our new one is even safer.” Then above the car, the words, “Subaru Outback is a 2020 IIHS Top Safety Pick+,” appear, and the voiceover announcer reads them aloud. The scene concludes as the Dad and his daughter proceed to wash the car together in their driveway. 

Subaru’s ad is persuasive because it is about something that people can relate to, the concern about the mortality of our loved ones. It makes the viewer think about their car and whether or not it would keep themselves and their passengers safe in a crash. It shows that Americans value their families, their cars, and their peace of mind. It reminds the audience that as mortals, our lives could be ended in a second; however, with preventative measures like buying a safe car, we have a better chance at survival. 

This commercial is emotional, to say the very least, as it manages to emulate rhetorical strategies, including Logos, Ethos, Pathos, Kairos, and Nostalgia. Logos explains the commercial’s message, which is that Subaru cars can and will keep you and your passengers safe when the unexpected occurs. Ethos is displayed in the ad, through the idea that Subaru is trustworthy- after all, it is a 2020 IIHS Top Safety Pick+. Kairos is evident in the commercial because it urges the viewer to take action; if you do not have a safe you, you should get one, because freak accidents can happen to anyone. Lastly, It evokes the nostalgic memories that many can relate to involving car seats and washing the car in the driveway. 

Subaru was successful in its creation of this commercial. Short and sweet, they made their point and left a lasting impression on their audience, that Subaru is a brand that they can trust to ensure their livelihood and their loved ones.

Dogs and Mental Health

Canine Companions Relieve Mental Illness Symptoms

The famous saying goes, “diamonds are a girl’s best friend.” If you had told me this as a toddler, I would have scoffed and then proceeded to laugh in your face because I knew the truth: A dog is a girl’s best friend. One of my earliest memories is of me playing with my uncle’s golden retriever, Casey, my face and hands all up in his snout. He was thankfully super gentle and gracious to three-year-old me. At the time, I had absolutely no concept of fear when it came to dogs because I never thought ill of them. Even as a toddler, I had a fundamental understanding, that if you were kind to dogs, they ought to be kind to you, and that it was simple. From ages three to five, begging for a dog was a sport, and I was a pro. When I was six, my parents finally relented, and we rescued a happy little mutt named Devon. He is still around today (thank goodness), and he is still my best friend. Dogs are incredibly beneficial to those experiencing mental illness because they are compassionate creatures that make coping with daily life much more comfortable.

Dogs are loyal, they love unconditionally, and they are capable of comforting people. In dogs, I have always found a strange sense of comfort that humans could not offer me; I felt understood. My dog, Devon, forever has my heart. I vividly remember the day we adopted him and feeling like the luckiest girl in the world because, he was as my best friend. Devon has seen me through everything for the past fourteen-odd years, even my 2017 diagnosis of ADHD, anxiety, and depression. 

High School was rough for me. I went to a small, private, all-girls, Catholic school; it was a less than enjoyable experience for me. High school was the most challenging time for me to navigate coping with my mental illnesses. Research has proven that ownership and interaction with canine companions are incredibly beneficial to mental health recovery processes. I sought therapy and trialed prescribed medications; however, Devon’s quality time was the only thing that brought nearly instant relief. Every day when I got home from school, seeing my happy, crazy dog made everything much better. I would roll around with him on the family room floor while we watched TV together. In the meantime, I would manage to nearly cover my mostly black and charcoal gray uniform in beige dog hair, but I felt honestly happy for the first time all day. This behavior did not please my mom, who already did laundry daily. However, it was a time when I could relax and unwind and experience joy with my precious Devon. 

Some people may argue that dogs add stress to one’s life, even if they experience mental illness. People who identify with this stance look at a dog as work and not as a friend. They see the accumulation of vet bills, the time suck of daily walks, the headaches caused by loud barking, the frustration of accidents in the house, and the ripping-up and annihilation of personal items. However, to this, I argue that if you experience a mental illness that the positive aspects outweigh the negative aspects of dog ownership.

 Being around dogs can reduce stress, anxiety, depression, feelings of loneliness, and other adverse side effects of mental illness. Being in the presence of dogs increases a person’s happiness; this has been proven through brain chemistry changes when interacting with dogs. These studies saw increased levels of oxytocin and dopamine in the brain associated with spending time with a dog, resulting in positive emotions. Another study found that owning a dog can boost even the depressed person’s sense of responsibility, giving them increased feelings of self-worth and belonging (NAMI, 2018). This finding makes sense because when you have a dog, you have a furry dependent who is also your best friend in the world.

One might argue that dogs are too chaotic for children with ADHD because they rile them up and make them more hyper. My dad can attest to this. As previously stated, we adopted Devon when I was six, and I was diagnosed with ADHD, among other things, at age seventeen. For eleven years, I exhibited symptoms without being diagnosed. It was a good run, and Devon and I had an absolute blast. I would chase him around the house, the backyard, etc. I would feed him tons of treats, give him deli meat, eggs; you name it. We went for walks, played in the yard, and watched TV together. After these fun times, we would always feel tired. However, my parents did not have a great time during the hyper chaos, always shouting for us to stop. Spending time with dogs is one of the best ways for children to cope with ADHD. Dogs can help children release energy and emotions through playtime.

Additionally, dogs can teach young children responsibility; through a schedule of caretaking (feeding, walking, bathing, etc.) Dogs are also great for kids who have autism. The social interaction and sensory reinforcement have proved very beneficial in studies. Having a child responsible for caring for a pet has been known to aid in learning time management and accountability for the well-being of their furry friend as well (Mental Health Foundation, 2018). 

Some people say that dogs are not that comforting, no more comforting than a friend or spouse. To that, I argue, you can interact with dogs in ways that you cannot with humans. For example, giving a dog an impassioned belly rub releases so much anxiety for both parties. Additionally, dogs don’t talk, as far as I know. This fact of life is fantastic because you can experience companionship without having to interact verbally, which is excellent for multiple reasons.

Dogs are not expecting you to entertain or impress them; they just want to be loved, fed, and walked. This reality is especially relieving when you are not feeling your best or are in the process of healing. Those who experience severe conditions of mental illness or are recovering from disorders can especially benefit from dogs who have been professionally trained as service dogs. The Recovery Village, an organization that rehabilitates patients experiencing substance abuse disorder and mental illness, finds that dogs have proven themselves invaluable aids in therapy and recovery processes for several diseases and disorders. The comfort dogs offer to trauma patients was discovered first-hand by an American soldier during World War II. 

The use of therapy dogs dates back to World War II, with a four-pound Yorkshire terrier named Smoky. An American soldier found her in an abandoned foxhole in New Guinea and sold her to Corporal Bill Wynne of the Air Force. She spent the next 18 months at his side in 12 combat missions, air raids, and typhoons. When Wynne was hospitalized for dengue fever, his friends brought Smoky to visit him. Her presence lifted his spirits, so she was allowed to stay the night with Wynne and visit other patients, including wounded soldiers. Wynne, the nurses, and others at the hospital noticed the positive effect Smoky had on everyone she encountered. “There [was] a complete change when we came into the room,” Wynne said. “They all smiled; they all loved her. “This spawned Smoky’s “career” as a therapy dog. She and Wynne visited various other hospitals over the next 12 years until she retired in 1955. Smoky died in her sleep two years later at the age of 14, but she continues to inspire other men and women to use their own canine companions as therapy dogs. Today, dogs are used all over the world for various therapeutic and service purposes, including helping children overcome speech and emotional disorders. Golden retrievers are among the common breeds used, due to their calm demeanor, friendliness and gentle disposition. But dogs aren’t the only pets used in therapy; cats, horses and other animals can have the same positive effects. (Recovery Village, 2020)

Yet again, dogs have proven themselves as furry angels! Today, these loving creatures, both informally and professionally trained, are helping soldiers who are recovering from PTSD and those who are experiencing mental illness and other disorders.  

Life can be difficult, and dogs simply make it better, even for those who are not currently experiencing mental illness. Having a mental illness makes the nuances of daily life that much more complicated. However, at this time — amid the coronavirus pandemic and renewed activism against systemic injustice — many individuals without a formal diagnosis are experiencing some form of anxiety. Shelters are experiencing a sharp increase in demand for pets (Whitten). Since the pandemic began, people have been more eager to adopt. Due to being at home alone and transferring to working from home, they now have more spare time to care for a pet. It makes sense to adopt because now more than ever, people are isolated due to social distancing rules, and they are feeling lonely.

Everyone deserves a support system and a coping buddy who offers them solace and makes them feel loved. I never want to live in a world without dogs because they bring me so much joy. I have grown to love dogs more and more throughout my life and believe that they make even the most difficult days that much easier.

Hot Dogs

A Categorical Claim: A Hot Dog is a Sandwich

Sandwiches are islands somewhere in the South Atlantic, but they are also an array of delicious combinations of foods that bring joy to the soul. Think of your childhood, if it was anything like mine, I am sure that it consisted of lots of sandwiches, hot dogs, burgers, etc. All hand-held meals with bun, roll, or two or more pieces of bread. What all of these varying combinations have in common are their make-up, consisting of bread, meat, cheeses, vegetables, condiments, and other toppings. Sandwiches can be prepared in several different ways, depending on how the bread and its contents are prepared. Sandwiches can be hot, cold, room-temperature, and served open-faced or consumed in a hand-held manner.

A hot dog is a sandwich; if you think otherwise, well, then, I am sure there is a bunch more about which we can disagree. I am about to break it down for you. A hot dog consists of tubular meat made of pork or beef and a bread bun. I believe that it is called a “hot dog” because the tubular meat resembles a dachshund wiener dog, and the meat is grilled or boiled and consumed while the meat is still hot. People add their own unique combination of cheeses, vegetables, condiments, and other toppings. In most cases, like traditional sandwiches, hot dogs are consumed in a hand-held manner. SO, there.

Some may argue that a hot dog is not a sandwich because the meat is not flat, and to them, I say, “that’s a load of bologna!” To this, I argue the case of sausage sandwiches, which also consist of tubular meats. Some others offer that a taco is a sandwich.  However, I’m afraid I have to disagree because tacos have taco shells and tortillas- not bread. Tortillas and shells are not meant to be cut in a longitudinal and then cross-sectioned manner like bread. Therefore, they are their own category of food.

Overall, I believe that a hot dog is a sandwich. Let them be included in the world of sandwiches. They would be too lonely without the company that, for example, tacos and burritos can offer one another. Hot dogs deserve to be considered sandwiches because they already are pretty freaking weird, to begin with, let’s give them this break.