Ad Analysis (Updated)

UPDATED AD ANALYSIS

As we move into the heat of the presidential candidacy, CNN reporters and analysts have been fervently covering the policies and advertising tactics of all the candidates. Of these candidates, Sarah Palin and Rick Santorum stand out to the CNN staff for their advertising strategies. In her advertisement, Sarah Palin calls out Rick Santorum, a fellow Republican, on his hypocrisy in not being a staunch supporter of the Tea Party. Palin’s attack on Santorum’s platform is an interesting advertisement, and one that CNN hopes to analyze in depth. On the other hand, Santorum’s advertisement is simple and directed towards his supporters in a motivating, yet humorous manner. Santorum’s advertisement pulls out his religious philosophy in a stark and revealing manner that was not addressed in his policies. The CNN team has worked to collect authentic information to analyze the Palin and Santorum’s advertisements in depth to provide our audience with the correct information in order to produce informed voters.

By including speeches by Rick Santorum and Barack Obama in her ad, the main point that Sarah Palin’s campaign seems to be conveying to her supporters is that Rick Santorum is a candidate that should not be trusted with his proposals. This has been proven through the changing of opinion of Rick Santorum about the Tea Party, and Obama’s mandatory health insurance speech. The film techniques used in Sarah Palin’s ad is overall not very effective. The tone of the ad demonizes Obama and Santorum, labeling them as hypocrites, which effectively shines a brighter light on Palin and their claim that she will stand her ground no matter what. It is difficult to deduce whether or not Sarah Palin really is an exception to changing her opinion or any ideas regarding her proposals during her candidacy. Throughout history, people will grow out of an idea and move onto a different one. Santorum, in this case, didn’t support the green tea party, but later changed his mind to support it. The ad compares Santorum to Barack Obama to show that they are parallel in their fickle-mindedness. It shows Obama talking about the mandated insurance, assuring that his approach would not charge people who didn’t have stable insurance; obviously, this is not true, because now, we are being forced to have insurance by the year 2014. This all adds up to the clear message that people in power change their minds whenever they want and mislead people with lies and instant changes of opinions. The tone of this ad is very candid, whereas Palin’s campaign shows assertiveness to demonstrate that if people vote for her she will be the best president. However, in the ad, there aren’t any “facts” or evidence to support the claim that “she stands her ground, no matter what”, or the idea that Sarah Palin is a lady of her word. The audience needs to see how is it that she stays firm to her beliefs and sticks to what she promises. The public would like to see more evidence on this assertiveness though so that they can truly believe in her campaign.

The main message of Rick Santorum’s ad is to “restore faith and…unity in the American dream”. He wants to do this by getting parents involved with their children’s education and giving Americans the choice to choose their own health care provider. However, he doesn’t present a clear message when explaining how he will implement these ideas and his ad does not seem to be very persuasive because of the lack of content. Some of the things he talked about were reasonable, but it is difficult to say if he will be able to fulfill these thoroughly.The tone of the Santorum’s ad is serious, yet humorous, because he points in the camera every time he says “YOU”. He establishes this strongly and creates a relationship to the message that is being portrayed throughout the ad. Santorum presented some facts about education that were accurate in the sense that families should have the upper hand when it comes to their children’s education. However, we need the government to implement laws, such as the No Child Left Behind act, to make sure every child is getting a proper education. Santorum’s statement about the church is misleading –it is obvious that he is targeting religious groups, but his message does not have any meaning behind it and needs further explanations.

The Palin team is using one of the Aristotle’s three means of persuasion, commonly used by advertisers and politicians – ethos. Simply put, a speaker’s ethos is the persuasive appeal of the their character. It’s how the speaker comes across to the audience, how the speaker will prove that he is amiable, respectable, and worth listening to.The use of ethos is present when they are presenting the two clips of Santorum and Obama expressing their initial opinions on two different topics, which is vastly different from their current opinions and stances on these two different topics. They do this to show that Obama and Santorum are not reliable or credible because they easily change their opinions about issues. They strategically place these video clips in their ad to persuade the audience to believe that Santorum and Obama are both hypocrites and Palin is the truly honest and reliable one because she “stands her ground, no matter what”.

In the last several seconds of their ad, before Palin’s message of approval, they claim, “A vote for Sarah Palin is a vote for truth and transparency”. This utilizes the transfer technique in advertising, where positive words, images, and ideas are used to suggest that Sarah Palin is a trustworthy candidate. Voting for her would mean truth and transparency, implying that she will remain honest and trustworthy throughout her presidential term. “Truth” and “transparency” can also be seen as weasel words because there is no examples to provide support to their claim that a vote for Palin result in truth and transparency.

Palin’s ad seems to be geared towards the citizens of the United States who want to look for a trustworthy candidate to elect as the next President. Those who want a trustworthy and reliable candidate will see this ad and immediately lose a bit, or maybe more, of their trust in Santorum and Obama due to their changed opinions about the topics proposed. This ad is very likely to be effective with the audience once complete.

Just as Palin’s ad is geared towards persuading the audience, the advertisement for Rick Santorum is created with the goal to persuade the audience to believe or take action in a desired way. Since Santorum is a presidential candidate, the primary purpose of his advertisement is to convince the viewer to vote for and support him in the upcoming election. In order to fulfill this purpose, Santorum’s advertisement simultaneously employed a variety of persuasion techniques in order to establish his credibility and most importantly, to motivate the viewers to act as desired.

Santorum’s diction throughout the television advertisement is his primary tool for persuading the viewers to vote for him. Although the use of words and phrases may seem very insignificant, in reality, language choice is extremely powerful and may make all the difference in whether or not the audience will be influenced and persuaded. Through diction, Santorum applies numerous techniques of persuasion.

One of the techniques that Santorum applies in his television advertisement is through utilizing a couple of Aristotle’s modes of persuasion. Santorum uses ethos by portraying himself as a character of virtue. He calls himself a “man of God” and revolves his advertisement around the theme of faith, talking about necessity of church’s involvement with the state, addressing “people of faith,” criticizing Obamacare as a “sin in the eyes of the Catholic church,” and mentioning the restoration of faith in the American dream. Through the use of these words and phrases, he also establishes ethos by showing the audience that he has a common ground with them, through simply acknowledging shared values and beliefs. He shows the audience that he, too, is deeply concerned about the maintaining the morality of America and that he too places value on the family. He also builds ethos by making the viewer feel like they matter. After every scene, he points to the camera, making it seem as if Santorum is personally addressing the viewer. He tells the audience that they should be the ones making decisions, they come first, they should have the power. Through the use of ethos, Santorum is essentially trying to convince the audience, “Hey, I’m a virtuous man and I mean well. I’m a family man too. We both care about keeping America on God’s track so vote for me.”

Santorum also uses pathos, the appeal to audience’s emotions. He carefully chooses his language to invoke an emotional response from the audience in order for them to identify with him. To do this, he continually pushes feelings of necessity in every scene by using repetition with the word “need”: “We need to start putting parents first,” “People of faith need to play an active role,” “We need to restore America.” Secondly, he uses pathos through attempting to invoke feelings of nostalgia. He repeatedly talks about restoration—the restoration of faith in the American dream, the restoration of America—and states that it’s time to get back to American traditions and values. Thirdly, Santorum tries to stir up feelings of patriotism and nationalism through constantly mentioning American values and ideals. He frequently speaks of the American dream and also mentions issues of restoring America and its traditions and values.

In addition to using Aristotle’s methods of ethos and pathos, Santorum makes sweeping glittering generalizations. This technique of persuasion uses generalizations that are extremely vague, yet appear as supporting evidence for the speaker’s case. Glittering generalities are the use of words that always have a positive connotation linked to highly valued concepts, which draw in the reader’s attention and approval. They are purposely vague in order to garner support from individuals, simply on the basis of using a beloved concept. Santorum talks about restoring faith and unity in the American Dream, restoring unity in the family, putting parents first. He expresses the need to restore America, as well as returning to American traditions and values. But what exactly do these things mean? Santorum does not specify the answers to those questions and instead, purposely decides to speak in glittering generalities in order to coax the audience into voting for him.

In order to convince the viewer to vote for him, Santorum relies on diction and the language of persuasion rather than film techniques. As far as the script is concerned, music, camera angles, sounds, music or editing are not used to reinforce his message. The only film technique he uses is the setting of the advertisement. His advertisement takes place in four different settings, all of which are familiar places to the viewers. First, he is standing in front of a school, a building that is symbolic of family, community, culture and tradition, and personal achievement. The next scene is in front of a church, a building representative of morality and divine power. The third scene takes place in front of a hospital, a place of recovery and the promotion of good health. Lastly, the final scene takes place in front of a house. This is the most powerful; as he talks about the family home being the “heart of American society,” the advertisement shows Santorum at a place that we are all familiar with, a place normally associated with comfort and belonging. This setting could potentially portray him as a common man, a down-to-earth kind of guy, a family man.

The transparency of Santorum targeting a specific audience is apparent. He is targeting the Christians of America and possibly very right-winged Republicans in general – those who have the same values and beliefs as him, who believe in a limited government. The way in which he establishes ethos, through proving his morality and virtues, and the way in which he builds pathos assumes that he is speaking to a family-oriented, God-believing audience. Because he claims he is a man of God, the audience should assume his position of righteousness and realize that his intentions for the future of America are good. In one scene, he attempts to obtain disapproval of Obamacare from the targeted audience by claiming that it is viewed as a sin to the Catholic church. This technique is also known as assertion. It is a statement that is presented as fact without the use of explanation or evidence, a statement that is expected to be accepted without question. Santorum’s assertion of Obamacare as a sin is only a tool of propaganda, used to attack the current system and to make his proposals look like the knight in shining armor.

The overall effectiveness of Santorum’s advertisement rests on the viewer’s religious affiliation. To people of strong religious background in Christianity, the commercial may be effective, influential, and convincing. However, his techniques of persuasion will most likely be absolutely futile to viewers that have no religious affiliation and viewers that believe in other religions. In fact, it may even result in an opposite of the intended effect; viewers may be repelled from voting for him, turned off, and driven away from even considering Santorum as a potential president. If the viewer is not part of his targeted audience, the advertisement will not successfully persuade the him to vote for Santorum.

In her policy proposal and ad, Palin does not make any promises to America; she simply states the issues and offers solutions that will begin rebuilding America. When speaking on the potential of people succeeding she does not guarantee that everyone will success but everyone has the “chance” to success. This allows the viewers to think more realistically rather than to fantasize on making their problems disappear.

The Palin ad focuses on standing your ground when you strongly believe something and the policy proposal has the same approach in regards to programs like TANF and other assistance such as food stamps. She sees how much these programs have made many Americans dependent and instead of eliminating them completely she strives to fix them. She knows getting rid of them would not benefit anyone. She plans to have these programs as temporary assistance as well as implementing programs that will encourage citizens to work to support themselves. Palin does not seem to go back on what she says in her ad and policy proposal, she does not aim to get people’s hopes up but to simply allow Americans the freedom of choice. Her overall argument in her ad and policies is that other politicians have and are focused on getting elected and not concerned on serving the greater good. This leads to over spending on elections and leaving the next generation with burden.

Santorum’s ad simplifies his policy views into four major points: education, religion, health care, and family life. This simplification is an effective strategy because it follows his motto of “Empowering American Families” and “Following the American Dream.” In his policy proposal, Santorum discusses reducing federal education spending, and by doing so, increasing parent involvement in their children’s education. This policy is reiterated in the ad, but is only referred to in terms of increasing parent involvement and decreasing government involvement –the ad does not mention the reduction of federal spending on education. Santorum’s ad matches the health care and family life points made in the policy proposal, but does not match the ad’s staunch stance against the separation of church and state. In the ad, Santorum says, “I don’t believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute. The idea that the church can have no influence or no involvement in the operation of the state is absolutely antithetical to the objectives and visions of our country.” In his policy, Santorum does state his religious beliefs and ideology that religion should play a large role in the lives of American families, but he does not state his opinion that there should not be a separation of church and state as he does so fervently in the ad. In the policy, there are religious undertones, but the advertisement makes them overt, which is a major contrast between his ad and his policy.

CNN hopes that this analysis of Sarah Palin and Rick Santorum’s advertisement provides our viewers and readers with additional information that may not be overt in the biases portrayed in each advertisement.

 Old Ad Analysis

As we move into the heat of the presidential candidacy, CNN reporters and analysts have been fervently covering the policies and advertising tactics of all the candidates. Of these candidates, Sarah Palin and Rick Santorum stand out to the CNN staff for their advertising strategies. In her advertisement, Sarah Palin calls out Rick Santorum, a fellow Republican, on his hypocrisy in not being a staunch supporter of the Tea Party. Palin’s attack on Santorum’s platform is an interesting advertisement, and one that CNN hopes to analyze in depth. On the other hand, Santorum’s advertisement is simple and directed towards his supporters in a motivating, yet humorous script. Santorum’s advertisement pulls out his religious philosophy in a stark and revealing manner that was not addressed in his policies. The CNN team has worked to collect authentic information to analyze the Palin and Santorum’s advertisements in depth to provide our audience with the correct information in order to produce informed voters.

By including speeches by Rick Santorum and Barack Obama in her ad, the main point that Sarah Palin’s campaign seems to be conveying to her supporters is that Rick Santorum, as well as any other candidate running for president, is a candidate that should not be trusted with his or her proposals. This has been proven through the changing of opinion of Rick Santorum about the Tea Party, and Obama’s mandatory health insurance speech. It is difficult to deduce whether or not Sarah Palin really is an exception to not changing her opinion or any ideas regarding her proposals during her candidacy. Throughout history, people will grow out of an idea and move onto a different one. Santorum, in this case, didn’t support the green tea party, but later changed his mind to be in support of it. Santorum is compared to the misleading of Barack Obama when he talked about the mandated insurance where he assures that his approach would not charge people who didn’t have stable insurance by the year 2014, but now we are being forced to have insurance by the year 2014. This all adds up to the clear message that people in power change their minds whenever they want and mislead people with lies and instant changing of opinions. The tone of this ad seems to be very candid whereas Palin’s campaign shows assertiveness to demonstrate that if people vote for her she will be the best president. In the current ad though, there aren’t any “facts” to back up the statement made that says that “she stands her ground, no matter what”, or the idea that Sarah Palin is a lady of her word. The audience needs to see how is it that she stays firm to her beliefs and sticks to what she promises. The public would like to see more evidence on this assertiveness though so that they can truly believe in her campaign. The “I’m Sarah Palin and I Approve this message” quote at the end of the ad doesn’t make any sense to what message she is talking about of approving –the audience needs an explanation of her quotes and sources used to gather all the information.

The main message of Rick Santorum’s ad is to “restore faith and…unity in the American dream”. He wants to do this by getting parents involved with their children’s education and giving Americans the choice to choose their own healthcare provider. However, he doesn’t really present a clear message when explaining how he will implement these ideas and his ad does not seem to be very persuasive because of the lack of content. Some of the things he talked about were reasonable, but it is difficult to say if he will will he be able to fulfill these thoroughly.

The tone of the Santorum’s ad is serious, yet humorous, since in the script outline, it seems that he will be pointing in the camera every time he says “YOU”. He establishes this strongly and creates a relationship to the message that is being portrayed throughout the ad. Santorum presented some facts about education that were accurate in the sense that families should have the upper hand when it comes their children’s education. However, we need the government to implement laws, such as the No Child Left Behind act, to make sure every children is getting a proper education. In the ad draft, Santorum’s statement about the church was misleading. It is obvious that he is targeting religious groups, but his message does not have any meaning behind it and needs further explanations.

Sarah Palin’s marketing team proceeds to compare Palin to two other notable political figures: President Obama and Rick Santorum. In the ad, her team presents a clip where Rick Santorum publicly claims that he does not support the Tea Party, which contradicts his current stance of supporting them. They also present a video clip of President Obama expressing his views about mandatory health insurance during the Democratic Debates. In this clip, he expresses that he does not believe that fining and charging people who don’t have health care insurance will ultimately help the citizens of the United States. By doing this, the Palin team shows that Obama is contradicting himself because his current Obamacare plan states that a person will be subject to an additional tax if that individual does not have acceptable health insurance coverage for themselves along with their children. They are also showing that these two notable political figures are hypocritical which helps support their next statement in the ad, where they claim, “Sarah Palin is a maverick among the permanent political class. She stands her ground, no matter what.” They are using the two clips where Obama and Santorum has “flip flopped” on their views to further convince the audience that Palin will not do the same.

The Palin team is using one of the three persuasive strategies that are most commonly used by advertisers: ethos, an appeal to credibility or character. The use of ethos is present when they are presenting the two clips of Santorum and Obama expressing their initial opinions on two different topics, which is vastly different from their current opinions and stances on these two different topics. They do this to show that Obama and Santorum are not reliable or credible because they easily change their opinions about issues. They strategically place these video clips in their ad to persuade the audience to believe that Santorum and Obama are both hypocrites and Palin is the truly honest and reliable one because she “stands her ground, no matter what”.

In the last several seconds of their ad, before Palin’s message of approval, they claim, “A vote for Sarah Palin is a vote for truth and transparency”. This utilizes the transfer technique in advertising, where positive words, images, and ideas are used to suggest that Sarah Palin is a trustworthy candidate. Voting for her would mean truth and transparency, implying that she will remain honest and trustworthy throughout her presidential term. “Truth” and “transparency” can also be seen as weasel words because there is no examples to provide support to their claim that a vote for Palin result in truth and transparency.

To fully analyze the film techniques used in Palin’s ad, we will need to see the finished video to fully analyze the effectiveness of the message. However, looking at the storyboard and playing the video clips at the times that is suggests that their message will be very effective. The tone of the ad demonizes Obama and Santorum, labeling them as hypocrites, which effectively shines a brighter light on Palin and their claim that she will stand her ground no matter what. Because they provided the two clips of Obama and Santorum flip flopping on their opinions and there are no clips to show that Palin had done anything along those lines, it is a very effective method to shine a positive light on Palin. These techniques are used very effectively and they will more than likely get the reaction that they have aimed for. However, for Obama’s video clip, they did not provide a background of Obamacare and the significant details that would contrast his views in the clip they presented. Although some people are well aware of the terms and conditions of Obamacare, others might not be as aware of these political issues. The Palin team should include the important terms of Obamacare in order to more effectively contrast his views and present him as someone who does not stay true to his word.

Palin’s ad seems to be geared towards the citizens of the United States who want to look for a trustworthy candidate to elect as the next President. Those who want a trustworthy and reliable candidate will see this ad and immediately lose a bit, or maybe more, of their trust in Santorum and Obama due to their changed opinions about the topics proposed. This ad is very likely to be effective with the audience once complete.

Just as Palin’s ad is geared towards persuading the audience, the advertisement for Rick Santorum is created with the goal to persuade the audience to believe or take action in a desired way. Since Santorum is a presidential candidate, the primary purpose of his advertisement is to convince the viewer to vote for and support him in the upcoming election. In order to fulfill this purpose, Santorum’s advertisement simultaneously employed a variety of persuasion techniques in order to establish his credibility and most importantly, to motivate the viewers to act as desired.

Santorum’s diction throughout the television advertisement is his primary tool for persuading the viewers to vote for him. Although the use of words and phrases may seem very insignificant, in reality, language choice is extremely powerful and may make all the difference in whether or not the audience will be influenced and persuaded. Through diction, Santorum applies numerous techniques of persuasion.

One of the techniques that Santorum applies in his television advertisement is through utilizing a couple of Aristotle’s modes of persuasion. Over 2,000 years ago, the Greek philosopher, Aristotle, covered three means of persuasion in his work, The Art of Rhetoric. Santorum happened to apply two of them in his advertisement; he used ethos and pathos. Simply put, a speaker’s ethos is the persuasive appeal of the their character. It’s how the speaker comes across to the audience, how the speaker will prove that he is amiable, respectable, and worth listening to. Santorum uses ethos by portraying himself as a character of virtue. He calls himself a “man of God” and revolves his advertisement around the theme of faith, talking about necessity of church’s involvement with the state, addressing “people of faith,” criticizing Obamacare as a “sin in the eyes of the Catholic church,” and mentioning the restoration of faith in the American dream. Through the use of these words and phrases, he also establishes ethos by showing the audience that he has a common ground with them, through simply acknowledging shared values and beliefs. He shows the audience that he, too, is deeply concerned about the maintaining the morality of America and that he too places value on the family. He also builds ethos by making the viewer feel like they matter. After ever scene, he points to the camera, making it seem as if Santorum is personally addressing the viewer. He tells the audience that they should be the ones making decisions, they come first, they should have the power. Through the use of ethos, Santorum is essentially trying to convince the audience, “Hey, I’m a virtuous man and I mean well. I’m a family man too. We both care about keeping America on God’s track so vote for me.”

On the other hand, pathos is the appeal to audience’s emotions. Santorum carefully chooses his language to invoke an emotional response from the audience in order for them to identify with him. To do this, he continually pushes feelings of necessity in every scene by using repetition with the word “need”: “We need to start putting parents first,” “People of faith need to play an active role,” “We need to restore America.” Secondly, he uses pathos through attempting to invoke feelings of nostalgia. He repeatedly talks about restoration—the restoration of faith in the American dream, the restoration of America—and even states that it’s time to get back to American traditions and values. Thirdly, Santorum tries to stir up feelings of patriotism and nationalism through constantly mentioning American values and ideals. He frequently speaks of the American dream and also mentions issues of restoring America and “American traditions and values.

In addition to using Aristotle’s methods of ethos and pathos, Santorum also makes sweeping glittering generalizations. This technique of persuasion uses generalizations that are extremely vague, yet appear as supporting evidence for the speaker’s case. Glittering generalities are the use of words that always have a positive connotation linked to highly valued concepts. The important concepts used are the key words that draw in the reader’s attention and approval. They are purposely vague in order to garner support from individuals who interpret the phrase differently, simply on the basis of using a beloved concept. Politicians frequently make sweeping glittering generalizations as techniques of propaganda. Use the words liberty, freedom, democracy, and who will be willing to oppose ideas that defend these concepts? That would be “anti-American!” Throughout the advertisement, Santorum speaks in glittering generalities. He talks about restoring faith and unity in the American Dream. He speaks of restoring unity in the family. He talks about putting parents first. He expresses the need to restore America, as well as returning to American traditions and values. But what exactly do these things mean? What does it mean to restore unity in the American Dream? What exactly does it mean to restore America? Santorum does not specify the answers to those questions and instead, purposely decides to speak in glittering generalities in order to coax the audience into voting for him.

In order to convince the viewer to vote for him, Santorum relies on diction and the language of persuasion rather than film techniques. As far as the script is concerned, there is no mention of the use of music, camera angles, sounds, music or editing to reinforce his message. The one film technique he uses is the setting in which he chooses to film. His advertisement takes place in four different settings, all of which are familiar places to the viewers. First, he is standing in front of a school, a building that is symbolic of community, autonomy, culture and tradition, and personal achievement. The next scene is in front of a church, a building representative of morality and divine power. The third scene of the advertisement takes place in front of a hospital, a place of recovery and promotion of good health. Lastly, the final scene takes place in front of a house. This is the most powerful. As he talks about the family home being the “heart of American society,” the advertisement shows Santorum at a place that we are all familiar with, a place normally associated with comfort and belonging. This setting could potentially portray him as a down-to-earth kind of guy, one who values family.

It’s completely transparent that in making this film, Santorum was targeting a certain audience – the Christians of America and possibly even extremely right-winged Republicans in general. The way in which he establishes ethos, through proving his morality and virtues, and the way in which he builds pathos assumes that he is speaking to audiences that believe in God and are genuinely family-oriented. He is targeting people who have the same values and beliefs as him, people who believe in God and believe in a limited government. Because he claims he is a man of God, the audience should assume his position of righteousness and virtue and realize that his plans and intentions for the future of America are good. In one scene, he attempts to obtain disapproval of Obamacare from the targeted audience by claiming that it is viewed as a sin to the Catholic church. This technique is also known as assertion. It is a statement that is presented as fact without the use of explanation or evidence, a statement that is expected to be accepted without question. It is very likely that Santorum’s assertion of Obamacare as a sin is only a tool of propaganda, used to attack the current system and make his proposals look like the knight in shining armor.

The overall effectiveness of Santorum’s advertisement rests on the viewer’s religious affiliation. To people of faith and of strong religious background in Christianity, the commercial may be very effective, influential, and convincing. However, his techniques of persuasion will most likely be absolutely futile to viewers that have no religious affiliation and viewers that believe in other religions. In fact, it may even result in an opposite of the intended effect; viewers may be repelled from voting for him, turned off, and driven away from even considering Santorum as a potential president. If the viewer is single, not family-oriented, not religious or of a different religion, the advertisement will not be successful in persuading the viewer to vote for Santorum.

Palin’s ad focuses on highlighting Obama and Santorum going back on their thoughts regarding specific programs. Santorum is portrayed as being in favor of the tea party in a few speeches, however, in another clip he expresses his concern on the tea party movement to refashion conservatism. Palin states that Santorum “flip flops” on his view towards the tea party the same way Obama did with health insurance. During the debates against Hillary Clinton, Obama was not in agreement with forcing Americans to buying health insurance. He states that many people do not qualify and will probably be too expensive for others. America now finds itself in that predicament because of the decisions made by its current leader. Both in her policy proposal and ad, Palin does not make any promises to America; she simply states the issues and offers solutions that will begin rebuilding America. When speaking on the potential of people succeeding she does not guarantee that everyone will success but everyone has the “chance” to success. This allows the viewers to think more realistically rather than to fantasize on making their problems disappear.

The Palin ad focuses on standing your ground when you strongly believe something and the policy proposal has the same approach in regards to programs like TANF and other assistance such as food stamps. She sees how much these programs have made many Americans dependent and instead of eliminating them completely she strives to fix them. She knows getting rid of them would not benefit anyone. She plans to have these programs as temporary assistance as well as implementing programs that will encourage citizens to work to support themselves. Palin does not seem to go back on what she says in her ad and policy proposal, she does not aim to get people’s hopes up but to simply allow Americans the freedom of choice. Her overall argument in her ad and policies is that other politicians have and are focused on getting elected and not concerned on serving the greater good. This leads to over spending on elections and leaving the next generation with burden.

Santorum’s ad simplifies his policy views into four major points: education, religion, health care, and family life. This simplification is an effective strategy because it follows his motto of “Empowering American Families” and “Following the American Dream.” In his policy proposal, Santorum discusses reducing federal education spending, and by doing so, increasing parent involvement in their children’s education. This policy is reiterated in the ad, but is only referred to in terms of increasing parent involvement and decreasing government involvement –the ad does not mention the reduction of federal spending on education. Santorum’s ad matches the health care and family life points made in the policy proposal, but does not match the ad’s staunch stance against the separation of church and state. In the ad, Santorum says, “I don’t believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute. The idea that the church can have no influence or no involvement in the operation of the state is absolutely antithetical to the objectives and visions of our country.” In his policy, Santorum does state his religious beliefs and ideology that religion should play a large role in the lives of American families, but he does not state his opinion that there should not be a separation of church and state as he does so fervently in the ad. In the policy, there are religious undertones, but the advertisement makes them overt, which is a major contrast between his ad and his policy.

CNN hopes that this analysis of Sarah Palin and Rick Santorum’s advertisement provides our viewers and readers with additional information that may not be overt in the biases portrayed in each advertisement.


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