The man's sign says, "I'm blind please help." Most of the people nearby are oblivious to him. A couple of people give him loose change, but it's clear that he's not making the rent today. A woman walks into the scene and takes notice of the blind man. Without saying a word to the him, she takes his sign and writes her own message on the back. The man feels the woman's shoes to 'see' her in his mind's eye. He knows she's messing with his sign – he can hear her pen scratching on the cardboard. He allows her to work without protest.
We get no indication, at this point, of what the woman has written. Her edit remains unseen to us. Finished with her rewrite of the sign, she replaces it at the man's side and silently walks away. Now, suddenly, many people give the man money. The newly rewritten sign is working its magic.
The woman returns later and stops in front of the blind man. As before, he feels her shoes and knows it's her. "What did you do to my sign?" he asks her. She stoops down, close to him. "I wrote the same," she says, "in different words." He nods in understanding. "Thanks," he says, and again she moves on.
The camera follows her for moment, then pans down to the sign. We now see what the woman wrote. It's simple, yet so powerfully touching that you'll probably get a lump in your throat as I do every time I watch this video. The lesson here is simple: The phrasing of a message is critical, regardless of the medium used to present it. The cardboard sign did not change, nor did its presentation. The only change was the way in which message, "I'm blind please help," was reworded. (You'll have to watch it to find out what she wrote.) This is good copywriting in action. It is the power of words fully utilized.
The actual name of this video is "The Story of a Sign," by Alonso Alvarez Barreda. Filmed by www.redsnappa.com, Director Seth Gardner.