Student Reflection-Omega Mart Analysis (12.1)

By Salvatore Fontana, Anderson University

When I saw the advertisement analysis project Dr. Stowe assigned, my mind immediately went to the oddball Omega Mart YouTube videos. Suffice to say that they had captured my imagination and I was eager to dig deeper. I selected one of my favorite ads – Canned Romance – and got to work. How did the artists utilize rhetorical and visual design principles? What were the purposes of these fake adverts, both as art and as explorations of the Omega Mart mythos? These were the questions I sought to answer through my video essay analysis. I also thought that the bizarre subject material made for a more interesting analysis.

On a technical level, I challenged myself to make engaging visuals and learn more video editing techniques. Experimentation and online tutorials played a major role in some of the effects I used in the video. For example, I learned how to use blue screen for the first time so that I could overlay a VCR play/stop effect to the advertisement B-roll footage. This allowed for greater emphasis when I wanted to “pause” the footage. Additionally, I learned how to both highlight text and create textual elements that “type” in real time to go with the voiceover. I will retain these skills for all future projects I create within Davinci Resolve.

An analysis like this allows for deeper understanding of the art and the world of the art, which in turn leads to a fuller appreciation for what the art and the artist are each accomplishing. MeowWolf presents a compelling commentary on Western consumerism that is all at once familiar and jarring and I thoroughly enjoy understanding the mechanics behind it all. Our feelings of nostalgia draw us in and are called into question through fascinating use of visual design. Perhaps my favorite use of visual design principles is the Visio-Linguistic Heuristic as defined by Kress & Van Leeuwen, especially Center & Margin. It is a principle I shall remember for years to come.