May 2, 2014
Three Words that Moved a Nation
This paper will analyze the political ad titled “Yes We Can.” The ad aired during the 2008 presidential campaign, Barack Obama vs. John McCain. This paper will first describe the political context of the ad, second describe the ad itself, and finally make an argument about why the ad was effective. This ad was effective and has become famous because of the use and continuous repetition of these three simple words that can inspire a generation, unite a community, and move a nation: “yes we can.” Throughout time this slogan has served as a symbol of hope to the people, and empowerment. It conjures up images of a multitude of human rights movements, and has transcended cultural differences. The use of “yes we can” in the ad inspires people to make a difference like those who have come before them, and they can do so by voting for Obama whom is a symbol of change.
The political context of the ad was influenced by many different elements during its making. When the ad aired in 2008 during Obama’s campaign against Republican John McCain it was an immediate success. It supported Barack Obama, one of the leading Democratic candidates for the 2008 US Presidency, who promises a new beginning to the American people. His platform rests upon tremendous change in the United States and upon the establishment of a new path for the American government, such as ending the war in Iraq, enacting a universal health care bill, and being pro-choice. As the next American president, he promises hope for a better future. Most of Obama’s campaign ads, such as “Yes We Can” put emphasis on just that. They displayed him as a trustworthy leader who the people of United States could rely on. Though there were also a number of attack ads whose main goal was to link McCain with former Republican president George Bush, who has low approval ratings....
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