Ad Critique 3
September 21, 2013
The ad I chose for this week was on Bill de Blasio who is running for mayor of New York. The commercial begins with his 15 year old son, Dante speaking. He begins speaking about how Bill is the only candidate who will tax the wealthy and fund school programs. He also mentions that Bill has a plan to build affordable housing. His son continues to explain that Bill is the only candidate striving to end the ‘stop-and-frisk’ initiative which is primarily focused on minorities. He ends with how Bill will be a mayor for every New Yorker, regardless where they live or what their appearance is. Dante adds that he would have said that even if Bill wasn’t his dad.
Ok so first thing that pop’s into my mind when I first saw this ad was, “I assume he is targeting the minority group”. Most candidates speak for themselves. However in this ad, Bill has his son (which we find out later) speak on his behalf and who also happens to be, half African American. As Dante is speaking, the commercial pans to different scenes of Bill and showing text snippets from his website. The first scene shows Bill partially (mostly his arm/hand gesture) as he is speaking to a small room of diverse people. The people listening range from middle aged white women, to elderly Hispanic and African Americans, to white males in what looks like their mid-30’s. Which is pretty smart seeing as the people who are viewing the ad would more than likely see themselves just as the audience in the ad. So having a group of listeners that vary in age and race, doesn’t make it seem exclusive to one particular group of people. However, from what I could see, it appeared to be mostly minorities – thus still aiming for that minority group. As Bill is speaking to the audience you can see that the sleeves of his nice business shirt are rolled up, and he is not wearing a formal jacket. His appearance says to the average Joe, “hey, I’m not better than you, and I am not judging you”. His appearance is relaxed just as the expressions of the audience. If consumers are comfortable with the candidate, they will feel less intimidation.
As Dante speaks, the next scene that is panned is a side street view of children being walked to school in a lower income area of New York. During this scene Dante is talking about the affordable housing plan. This correlates to low income housing areas and is targeting people who live in similar situations (who are also probably minorities). Showing that street image gives the consumer a feeling of relevance. Sort of like saying he is on the side of the underdog.
Next it pans to Bill in a kitchen with who appears to be his wife who is obviously African American. This scene plays on the interracial couple angle which is much more common these days regardless which ethnic groups are involved. Last scene ends with Dante and Bill walking to what I assume is school since Dante has a backpack on. They are laughing and talking. This represents the classic family man; this is something most average people with children can relate to. The upper hand Bill has is that this works on two levels: family and mixed race households.
Overall I would say this ad has positive connotations/morals. Cenk Uygur from The Young Turks talks about Bill’s ad and he also believes that this ad directly reaches out to the Black and Latino communities for their votes but he favors the motion and doesn’t see anything wrong with it. Cenk also explains that New York is liberal state, and Bill is one of the most progressive liberals in politics. That being said, I feel that Bill’s campaign reflects his means in a positive light. He does not use ‘dirty’ tactics to get his point across. If anything he is a more trustworthy candidate. For example my dad is half African American and half Korean, and my mom is half German and half Spanish. I am a product of a mixed race household and it was difficult back in the days when we had to fill out scan-tron sheets in school about our nationality that always said “choose ONE”. Seeing Bill with his wife and son tells me that he is a crusader of equality and diversity. Thus, Bill would have my vote since for me, I identify strongly with racial issues.
The Young Turks reference: