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Commentaries on this Media!

Sound-Image Experiment: Part 1

by Jeremy Butler

An audio experiment can be performed with this public-domain Dodge commercial from 1955 that illustrates how contrasting sound can make an argument about the image. In the original commercial, shots of happy, productive workers are accompanied by a song about the joys of car assembly. The narrator sings/shouts, “Turn her out, Henry! Turn her out, Joe! We’ll put her together and watch her go!” The images show “Henry” and “Joe” “turning her out”. And the music punctuates the narrator’s exhortations with brass fanfares (there is no sound directly from the presumably deafening factory floor). It’s a clear, rhetorical, supportive use of song and music.

But what happens if we change the music to make an editorial point. Look for additional Critical Commons versions of this commercial that accompany these images with Erik Satie’s Gymnopedie No. 1 and Ralph Chaplin's "Solidarity Forever."

Also, this experiment was originally created to accompany the textbook, Television: Critical Methods and Applications (NY: Routledge). Audio and video files for this experiment may be found on the book's companion Website:

(The commercial was produced by VanPraag Productions for the Grant Advertising agency, on behalf of Chrysler Corporation, Dodge Division.)

Sound-Image Interaction

A public-domain Dodge commercial from 1955.

from Dodge Commercial (1955)
Creator: VanPraag Productions
Distributor: Chrysler Corporation, Dodge Division
Posted by Jeremy Butler