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Amandeep Kaur
Hamby
URWT 1101
24 November 2014
Legalize Marijuana
When one thinks of genre, the first thing that comes into mind is what every child has
learned since they started school. A genre was the type of book or movie we read or watched
inside and outside of class. Non-fiction, Fiction, Fantasy, or Action, Romance, Comedy, etc.,
were all the types of genres we were taught. Well, in writing classes, genre is a whole different
thing. A genre is a written or spoken response to a social situation that acquires conventions over
time. Some examples of genres used for social situations are flyers, billboard, poster, social
media postings, webpage, email, etc. For this project, we chose a social situation of legalizing
marijuana. We had three types of audiences to appeal this message to; people that did marijuana,
people that do not do marijuana, and the government. We had three types of genres that fit the
audience respectively; billboard, commercial, and a letter to the government. We chose billboard
for the people that use marijuana because when people are driving on the road and look at a sign
that has bright colors and a huge marijuana leaf on the front, they will instantly want to read it as
they pass by. The users of marijuana might not have thought of wanting to legalize it for other
reasons rather than making them feel high, but this billboard tells you more about what it can be
used for. Therefore, the billboard can appeal to them. We chose commercial for those that do not
use marijuana because sometimes the people that do not use it, do not really know what it is, or
what the positive affects of the drug can be. By broadcasting a commercial, the audience can see
a demonstration of why it should be legalized. A commercial that tells you the pros in such a

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short amount of time, which is out of the ordinary, really attracts attention. Last but not the least,
we chose a letter to the government because the best way to reach a certain official is email or
letter. A typed out email or letter can explain in detail why it should be legalized and works more
with officials because it is formally written unlike billboards and commercials.
The billboard was a strong idea to help appeal to those people that use marijuana because
billboards are often used to attractive individuals to an event, a location, or even to persuade
someone to do something. Billboards are usually found on main roads like highways and
interstates. Small billboards can be found in cities and even towns around the busier areas.
During election season, billboards are used quite often to advertise a person or a certain party
and to support them. Using a billboard to persuade people to help support legalizing marijuana
can easily spread the idea because of the amount of people that pass billboards every day. 71% of
people that pass a billboard on their way to work or home can reference it when they reach their
destination, meaning it stays in their head. This statistic shows that a billboard is great to market
this idea to marijuana users. The various conventions of a billboard are the bright colors that
stand out in the morning and nighttime along with a large image that attracts ones eyes and will
stay in their head for a while. We used bright red and green colors that stood out from a far away
distance along with a gigantic green marijuana leaf all on a plain white background to help the
colors pop out and hook someones eyes. The capital letters catch attention because they stand
out from the lowercase letters. The way it is organized is also another factor that plays a part
because lining them up one under another makes you want to read the whole board instead of
just the first one. Using strong words that everyone has heard before at least once in their lifetime
like cancer, AIDS, and glaucoma, really attracts customers because they know it is a
serious situation. Overall I think this was a good idea to use because the statistics back it up and

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the fact that many people have referred to billboards when they shop or go somewhere makes
this a strong choice to help market the idea of legalizing marijuana.
We chose a commercial for those that do not use marijuana because we though it best
suited this type of audience due to the fact that commercials have been around for the longest
time. People that do not do marijuana probably dont know about it or have heard bad things
about the drug. Well, broadcasting a commercial that tells someone about marijuana itself and
how it is actually can cure certain diseases as well as not be as bad as alcohol can help persuade
one to support legalizing marijuana. The average adult watches 3-4 hours of television a day,
meaning an average adult watches over 40,000 commercials every year. Putting in a commercial
of marijuana will definitely keep a viewer watching because it is something that hasnt been
done before, its something new to them, or because they never seen positive effects of marijuana.
Some conventions of this genre are that is has to be quick 15-30 seconds commercial that goes
straight to the point, attractive features like pretty faces, or even ugly, extravagant background,
humor (modern day), and high production value. We made sure our commercial was short,
straight to the point because we only have few dialogues from the three actors. Each actor was an
attractive person keep the viewers eye along with a background setting that isnt bland. Showing
each actor on television and as happy as they can be while using marijuana convinces the
audience that if 3 other people can do it and still be okay, why cant everyone? We also used a
lot of humor because modern day societies are attracted to commercials that keep one smiling or
laughing and they remember those the most, and of course this was high production value.
Together these elements make an effective commercial that and convince the audience that
marijuana can have positive sides to it. The only constraints that would come from making a
commercial would be the production value and that would not be able to be done unless there is a

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huge supporting group. Another problem could be that this should not be advertised to young
children; therefore it would have to be aired on channels that are for adults only but that would
decrease the amount of exposure. Even with all these constraints in mind, I think a commercial
is suited best for this audience because a quick remark about legalizing marijuana is something
that is different and gets the most viewers in a day. This being a strong commercial with all the
elements needed and organized well, would probably be the best marketing plan to legalize
marijuana.
Our last genre we chose was the email/letter to the government expressing our concerns.
There is a person who sits in their chair all day looking at emails and letters sent by people with
concerns, comments, ideas, questions, etc., that is sooner or later passed down to another official
and so on. Choosing a email/letter was the best option for this audience because government
officials dont read billboards, or watch commercials to make executive decisions. Officials read
emails/letters because they are formally written with enough detail for them to think about that
certain situation or issue that email/letter contains. Conventions of this genre include, formal
writing, detailed reasoning explaining why this email/letter is being sent, greeting and salutation,
and contact information. We wrote this to whoever it may concern and formally wrote a
careful explanation without any slang terms or unnecessary information of why marijuana should
be legalized. It was a straight to the point email/letter containing facts and statistics of the
medical uses of marijuana and how it can save lives. This can persuade the government to
legalize it because their job is to keep their people healthy and happy and if this is what makes
most people happy, they should follow and support it too. We also made sure that there was a
detailed evidence and proof they can refer to when they read about the positive affects of
marijuana. The many cases and situations that marijuana has helped in, can definitely persuade

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the government to at least think about it. The facts and evidence behind it is probably the most
important factor to the email/letter because it gives a less reason to argue against it. Government
officials get thousands of email/letters a day. That is one constraint that we found from sending a
email/letter to get the point across, but all we would just have to do is send it again and again.
The email/letter is still the most appealing to officials because that is all government officials are
allowed to respond that comes from society and an intelligently worded essay can persuade any
individual as long as there is evidence to back it up.
Overall the genres worked out with each audience because that was the best way to reach
out to those certain type of people. After discovering the statistics for each audience and genre
used, they matched each other perfectly because these genres get the most exposure from each
audience type. The best genre selection that is the most effective for this social situation would
be the commercial because it gets the most viewers over the billboard and the email/letter. The
commercial reaches out to those that do not use marijuana but essentially reach out to every
person who watches commercials. Almost every household owns a television; therefore
commercials are the most watched by individuals making the most effective out of the rest of
genres. The billboard is effective as well, but not every household has a car and not everyone
drives on highways and interstates. The email/letter may be the least effective because trying to
persuade the government into doing something that they have their mind set on is like trying to
fit a pair of kid size jeans on an adult twice that size. But ignoring that constraint and sending it
again and again can still be an effective way to get people to support the use of marijuana. All
three genres, the billboard, the commercial, and the email/letter, met their social function, the
only challenge with the email/letter is that it is harder to convince that audience for a issue that
has been going on for a while and having to read over thousands of emails/letters a day. Using all

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these genres for these different types of audiences can really persuade them to support the idea of
legalizing marijuana because they all fit their social function in an effective way.

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Works Cited
"Billboard Marketing Statistics." Custom Built Portable Billboard. Visions Outdoor, 2013. Web.
24 Nov. 2014
Herr, Norman. "Television." Television. CSUN, 2007. Web. 24 Nov. 2014.
Hamlett, Christina. "Effects of Email on Communication." EHow. Demand Media, 11 Feb. 2009.
Web. 24 Nov. 2014.

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