Children See, Children Do

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In 2010, over thirty thousand children were abused or neglected in Australia (NAPCAN). Australia’s National Association for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect is an organization created to bring together the community, businesses, government officials, and the media to put an end to this problem. Their “Children See, Children Do” commercial first appeared on television in Australia in 2006. This thought-provoking campaign was designed to raise awareness and to stop child abuse and neglect all over the country. The sixty-second spot features children following their parents and mimicking their actions. The beginning appears to be harmless, as a little girl follows her father walking through a busy city talking on the cell phone. As the video continues, however, the habits progressively become more insidious as a girl copies her mother’s smoking habits and a son acts as if he is physically abusing his mother, just like his father did. There are also examples of littering, drunken behavior, racism, and road rage. With the dark choice of cinematography, violent and emotional actions, and a depressing song, NAPCAN successfully put together a convincing video to promote the campaign against child abuse and neglect.

The “Children See, Children Do” commercial is not one that would make the viewer change the channel. It grabs the attention immediately. At the beginning, it looks sort of cold and damp outside as the young girl follows her father with both talking on their cell phones. It appears to be winter as the trees are bare and the people are dressed warmly. Nothing appears too out of the ordinary until the next scene is shown where a child smoking a cigarette follows her mother—who is doing the same thing—up the escalader. They simultaneously put the cigarette butt out on the ground and keep walking. Here too, the surroundings are dark and gloomy. The scenes that follow are the same way as a father and son throw aluminum cans down the drainage system, a...
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