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Only Got 30 Seconds to Save A Life

May 16, 2012 Leave a comment

Emotion, persuasion, truth, and style: the keys to a successful campaign ad. Media is saturated with news, opinions, and entertainment as it reaches everywhere, from our televisions, to our phones. TV commercials are the only thing remaining that gives a presidential candidate full control over his image. So what makes a persuasive, yet entertaining presidential campaign? My answer: one that helps citizens to understand what the potential president would actually do. Giving such information enhances presidential accountability.

What can a president do? Make his or her priorities clear. Will he or she promote alternative energy, tax cuts, etc?

Presidents pursue their campaign plan so the answer to this question really matters. Presidents work to follow through with their key plan because the issues that they emphasize most in their campaign appeals are the issues they emphasize most in their first year in office.

Because every four years we collectively forget what presidents do, most criticism of presidential candidates and campaigns by journalists and specialists misses the mark. We complain that presidential candidates and their campaigns spend too much time attacking one another or that they don’t disagree clearly enough. However, candidates can reveal their agenda priorities in vague or negative appeals, too. In addition, if negative campaigns keep people engaged and vague claims keep them optimistic, then citizens are more likely to hear the competing agendas.

Effective political ads use sounds and images to communicate information, advance an argument, and affect voters emotionally, all in a very short period of time—frequently just 30 seconds. Ad makers must therefore use all of the cinematic tools at their disposal (video, images, voiceovers, sound and visual effects, music, titles, and editing) to win voters’ hearts and minds.

It only takes 30 seconds.

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Tis Time

April 22, 2012 1 comment

Talk of politics is everywhere; from talk shows and satires, to music, radio, and cartoons. There’s no escaping it. If it’s such a vital part of our everyday lives, then why is the youth voting percentage so low? To put it simply, they just don’t care.

Adults value government because their beliefs are brought forth and are what drive our nation. While I learning about the different parts of government, it became clear to me why young Americans don’t vote. Many don’t find that the issues being discussed affect them. Prescription drug coverage, social security, it just isn’t relevant to our lives yet. They are little words that fly way over our heads, when in fact these issues involve us all. Many people of all ages have medical issues and require prescription drugs, and social security is our identity concealed in a few digits.

I don’t think it should not matter whether young Americans vote or not. Why would you want someone to vote who is uneducated on the topic or has no interest in it? It is too important of a subject to have just anyone take a large part in it. Uninformed voters are easily swayed and, if swayed the wrong way, could put a damper on our country in the long run. George Will, a conservative columnist for Newsweek magazine said it brilliantly, “declining voter turnout is no cause for worry”. Voter turnout is not nearly as vital as protecting our nation’s democratic system, unless the youth of our nation is educated on the subject.

Photo by Party Hard Politics

Indiana University did a study last election. They came up with theories on why young voter turnout is consistently lower than their elders. They asked simple questions and took them apart. Questions such as “what are the factors that influence whether people are likely to vote” and “why young people around the world vote in lower numbers than their elders”. A survey was prepared and sent out across the university. As the results came back, 30% of respondents said they were irritated with the activists around campus constantly urging them to take polls. Other said they just didn’t care to hear about Barack Obama day in and day out.  It is also the appeal of advertisements. As I have witnessed firsthand in class, presidential ads have a major impact, both negative and positive, on voters. However,

Out of all of the topics discussed in our government class, the presidential campaigning topic has had the most impact on me. Learning about the campaigning aspect of the process opens my eyes to new innovative ideas that might capture the eye of the public, more so than some of the ads today. Quality in the commercials is what attracts young voters, as it is important to get much of America involved once and for all. I believe that our generation must be educated on the importance of politics and the changes that the voters, themselves, can encourage simply by participating. It is not up to the select few to run our country; rather it is up to us. We can make our voices heard, and we can make a difference. If young adults realize that they could influence the course of history, voting participation would skyrocket.

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