Blog Post for Discussion Question 1

Brainstorming is a major part of my personal writing process. For drafting I would typically write myself small notes in reference to the subjects within the topic I’m writing on. Outlines have become a more recent device of use for helping me create a skeleton of my papers. Especially ones that involve specific detail defining each subject. In the past I would rather write out a weak thesis and then alter it as the paper grew but now I’m at a point that I can write a stronger thesis that will actually guide my paper instead of it being somewhat off the wall. 


First Draft of Campaign Paper

In the year 1984, the current president Ronald Reagan was running against former vice president Walter Mondale. During this time, the economy was rising and oil and interest rates were high. America was recovering from the scare of the Cold War and was getting back to work and becoming productive once more. President Reagan was nicknamed “the Teflon president” for his ability to get out of sticky situations during his time in office. For Reagan’s second running, he used a campaign ad titled “Train”. Within this ad, political candidate Ronald Reagan uses pathos laden images like the massive group of people waiting for the train with Reagan on it, fallacious arguments such as the red herring being that the phrase “Leadership that’s working” without any visual proof, as well as desperate appeals to kairos in the “Train” ad to convey the idea that he does not deserve my vote; this is especially because he does not provide enough evidence of his good works aside from basic facts that times are on the rise.

A good way for any political candidate to get the public’s attention in an advertisement is to have a mass amount of people in the advertisement itself. At the beginning of the commercial we see that a barber shop is closing early and parents are picking up their children from early dismissal from school. Everyone in this advertisement is all rushing to the train tracks to see their beloved president pass by. An interesting trait about this commercial though is that President Reagan is revealing himself to the public eye so that he’s not only seen on a screen but in the flesh. That right there has a huge amount of pathos on the target audience of American voters. The audio track over the commercial says that some people would attend seeing Reagan go by on a train to simply tell their grandchildren about it, and others went to see a man they truly admired.

The red herring behind the whole commercial is primarily at the end of the campaign ad. The phrase, “Leadership that’s working,” crosses the screen but there is no evidence provided about that in the ad. Granted, President Reagan as a political figure did do a lot of good; there is simply no evidence in this commercial. He is loved by the people that are in the ad, but that is barely any proof that he’s a leader. He could simply be seen as a celebrity or idol without further investigation of who he is or what he’s done to serve our country.



Thesis and Intro Outline for Paper 3

Political candidate Ronald Reagan uses pathos laden images like the massive group of people waiting for the train with Reagan on it, fallacious arguments such as the red herring being that the phrase “Leadership that’s working” without any visual proof, as well as desperate appeals to kairos in the Train ad to convey the idea that he does not deserve my vote; however, especially because he does not provide enough evidence of his good works aside from basic facts that times are on the rise.


  1. This is the campaign between Reagan and Mondale.
  2. The name of the ad is Train and was broadcasted in 1984.
  3. Reagan was nicknamed “the Teflon president” for his ability to safely escape from setbacks.
  4. The economy was rising.
  5. Oil was low and interest rates were high.
  6. America was going back to work and being productive.


I believe that I’d like to write on a campaign ad by former president Ronald Reagan. The ad is excellent but the argument could possibly come from the last line I’m hoping. “Leadership that’s working” sounds great in general. The commercial itself is about people taking off work and kids leaving school early to see President Reagan pass by on a train. It’s supposed to be important of course because it’s the president. The ad says that times are improving in ways such as the economy is up, taxes and inflation are down, and Americans are working again. These are all uplifting facts and many people evidently in the advertisement want to give thanks to Reagan. I’m guessing this is Reagan’s second run ad because the ad mentions that he’s already the 40th president. The argument for the thesis though could be is it really Ronald Reagan who should be credited for the country turning around and being successful or what? The ad didn’t give any direct reasons why he’s a leader, just that he’s already the president and that he’s viable enough to be voted for again. Then that would lead into research about the actual president’s deeds done for the country and so on. I’m not entirely sure how you can counteract the argument though seeing that Reagan had a pretty good track record and all. But in relation to the ad you could always ponder on why people were thanking the former president. That could easily tie into why “leadership that’s working” was shown at the end of the advertisement. Perhaps the train is to help influence the people to vote for him because he’s revealing himself in a public form so that anyone who is able to be in whatever state the ad is mentioning can see him. Semi-personal occurrences like that can go a long way. l I’m kind of running out of ideas right now though. Maybe I need a different topic, I don’t know.


Post 13: Reading into Presidential Ads

In the presidential ad from 2004, President Bush looks like the upcoming hero. The ad initially opens with the year 2001 and the challenges that it faced such as the economic recession, a stock market in decline, and a busted dot com boom. What’s interesting about this is that it begins with what would be inevitably face but then the ad changes the tone to 9/11. With this tragic event, it made Bush’s position even more important because he was in the President’s seat for it. The text over the screen says, “A test for all Americans,” while relaying back patriotic images in the background. This is giving Bush more ethos once again because he was in charge during the event. Knowing that, voters are likely to vote for him again because he stood his ground during that frightening time. The ad closes with promise that America is turning around and rising to the challenge. But what challenge? The challenge to clean up 9/11? It’s unclear, but a vote for Bush is rising to the challenge to face something or other.

Post 12: Analyzing some scotch and some jeans

The Dewar’s Scotch commercial was a thing of cinematic beauty. It really was. The speaker’s voice and words were filled with a kind of vigor that made you want to go out and change your life which is highly influential and encouraging. The shots of the rockstar, the soccer players, the race car driver, the mechanic, the bull rider, and the horse chasers along with the speech in the background are telling you not to let your life go to waste. To do what makes you happy no matter what it takes, and if it doesn’t feel right to do what you’re doing at some given time or if it doesn’t seem like the right thing to do at all, don’t do it. Then at the very end of the commercial you see Dewar’s Scotch logo with a text “LIVE TRUE” across the screen. Sadly, this commercial is hardly suitable for any alcoholic substance really because it didn’t advertise alcohol in any way, it advertised doing what you loved without any images of alcohol in any example of protagonist. 


The Levi’s (sanitized) jeans commercial also held a lot of credibility for plot and cinematography. This speaker is also highly prominent and has a more “carpe diem” attitude in his speech. With shots of young adults and teenagers having active lives your mind is tuned into their brief snippets of life. Some examples being a bunch of people walking towards an outdoor event, a girl watching the sun rise, a guy operating a little boat on a lake, a crowd at a concert, people riding in vehicles with pretty backgrounds of the rising or setting sun, a late night couple against a wall, and so on. All of these shots have a similar impact like the scotch commercial except all of these shots have one thing in common: the jeans that everyone is wearing. Everybody in the commercial is wearing Levi’s jeans, meaning that with these jeans you will be able to take on the world basically, speech encouraging so, that is. The commercial ends with a shot of the words “GO FORTH” across an ocean and then the Levi’s jeans logo. It’s still a fairly weak advertisement with inspiring pathos but at least this one has the product physically in the commercial.  

Freewriting on Paper Topic 2

In my paper I’m going to take what elements are similar and compare them to how they are used to appeal to a similar type audience. I’m going to talk about the lighting and the camera angles and the background noises and background in general. I’ll mention how the cologne commercial is aimed to dedicated and persistent men and how the airbrush makeup commercial is aimed towards women who are looking for something good to happen. The thesis will ultimately relate to the effect that all of these effects will have on the audience. I don’t really know how to write about this further without writing the full paper and doing a full analysis so I guess this is it for now.