Mercado, Emily Political Science Professor Stripe 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 immunity, 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 Beam’s campaign against Republican John McCain it was an immediate success.
It supported Barack Obama, one of the leading Democratic candidates for the 2008 IIS 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 Beam’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. The attack ads were very successful in hurting Moccasin’s campaign that was trying to display him as a nonconformist. Moccasin’s platform was much less liberal than Beam’s. His platform consisted of things such as not withdrawing from the war in Iraq until they are capable of self- governing themselves, pro-life, and stronger border control. His ads, unlike Beam’s, were mainly attack ads on Obama.
They suggested Obama was more of a celebrity figure than a leader, in favor of higher taxes, and that we didn’t know enough about him to trust him as our president. 80th of the candidates had different opinions on the major political issues and concerns of the 2008 campaign, which were the economy, the energy crisis, health care, education, and the war in Iraq and terrorism. The artist Will. i. Am created the song, as well as the black and white music video entitled, “Yes We Can. ” The lyrics come directly from the famous incision speech given by Obama after losing the New Hampshire primary to Hilary Clinton.
Celebrities, comedians, musicians, actors and actresses, and even models are featured in the song and video and sing along with Obama as he speaks. This technique creates a parallel of two or more voices reciting the same words at certain points in the song. These voices come in as split screens with vertical breaks between each person in the video and they come in and go out frequently. Sometimes up to three people are featured and sometimes only just one. Obama is sometimes not featured visually, but his voice and words always are throughout the piece.
The last voice is that of sound recordings of the crowd during the actual speech, their lyrics being “yes we can,” and “we want change. ” This shows the diversity and range of talented people featured in the video. This large group is never shown together all at once, but instead individually within a frame. The only instruments used in this song are guitar, voice, and piano. The video ends with the words hope, which appears in white bold letters, and then the red teeter’s V and T replace the H and P in hope to spell out the word “VOTE. Then the whole word vote changes font to the color red, and the video ends. The ads overall message is that we as a people have fought for change in the past, and no matter where we came from or what we look like we are all equals in the government. As long as we believe that we can then we will, but it is up to us to make the first steps towards change. Obama symbolizes hope for a better future; therefore it is up to us a people to take a stand and vote for change, vote for Obama for president.