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Obama and Romney Campaign Video Analysis

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Media
Wordcount: 3897 words Published: 16th Oct 2017

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Analysis of Obama and Romney campaign Advertisements

Igbinosa Ojehomon

According to McNair Brian “Political communication simply is purposeful communication about politics”[1] From his definition of political communication, the main word that strikes a chord is “purposeful” which according to Merriam Webster dictionary, defines purposeful as “having a clear aim or purpose”[2] So his explanation could be summarized as communication related to politics having a clear aim. Political communication always has an intent and intended target. More so, it usually has an objective and the objective most of the time it is to influence and persuade an intended group or populace. Besides political communication is always issue specific. Part time the information disseminated is well-defined to reflect a particular message. This is done in other to ensure that the recipients of the targeted information get the intended message in other to have maximum impact. Besides political communication has gone beyond just spoken words and composed text but it has metamorphosed into to the realm of using filmic and photographic cues[3]. These include deliberate concerted efforts at manipulate audio-visual and pictorial materials, structured in such a way that it portrays a particular identity. In this fashion this could be referred to as Political Image. It further includes advertising related attributes such as emblem design for political party, facial cosmetics, and hairdo making of whoever is going to be a flag bearer of the political party. All this are deliberately done to ensure positive image of the political part and the party leader in other to create a positive impression on the mind of the intended target in order to achieve an intended objective desired by the political party and the political leader. This processes goes down to include what type of slogan to use, what color should be used to represent the party to even include voice training of the political leader, gesture training, walking steps to dressing style are all carefully manage by a specialist to portray and image consistent with what is intended by the party. Funny enough all this transformation in political communication has influence by advancement in communication technology. From paper to newspapers, magazine to radio, television to the social media. However the advent of the television most especially the colored television has open a fora for highly colorful political advertising programs, speeches, jingles all utilize highly creative multimedia tools to produce the most colorful and eye appeal video footage. Besides all entities have components, this divisions that make up the entity. Against the backdrop the parts that make up political communication are as follows the media, the citizens and the political organization[4]


The citizen, media and political organization are all core parts of political communication. They are highly dependent on each other and they could be referred to as mutually interdependent. Each constituent depend on the other constituent depend on the other constituent for relevance. This process is also vice versa.

Firms 2012 (Barack Obama’s campaign)


This 32 seconds Ad was carefully structured to support the motion that Romney was the problem and not the solution to American’s economic woes, by exposing the trading pattern of Romney’s firms and money laundering schemes. In the period when these Ads were aired, America has been experiencing a steady increase in unemployment and the economy was in a bad shape. This economic situation badly affected the middle class of the American society who were losing their jobs to offshore- outsourcing of labor to countries of cheap labor such as Mexico, India and china. Besides, further investment in Tax havens such as Cayman Island and Bermuda. Tax havens “are locations with very low tax rates and other tax attributes designed to appeal to foreign investors”[5] Some tax haven do not apply taxes for foreign investors. This is an attraction for rich folks and investors, for it is more profitable for them to invest in this place because of low or zero tax. This must have been an attraction for Romney’s firm, for his is a business man and wants to make profits. However, investing funds in another country has a tendency of improving the economy of that country. So what this Obama TV Ad is trying to drive at with relation to the economic situation in the United States, is that Romney by investing in the Cayman Island and Bermuda instead of the United States, is contributing to the economic challenges of the United States at that time and not helping the situation. For every amount of money that was invested outside the United States would have contributed to the improvement of the American economy. Besides, the money laundering acts by Romney highlighted in this TV Ad to Swiss account helped to further reinforce the key message of this TV Ad the “Romney is the problem and not the solution” for when large chunk of money is moved from a country, it short circuit the natural flow of money in the economy and this disruptions have significant impact on the general functioning of the economy. Likewise, those funds saved in the Swiss account by Romney if saved in banks in banks in United States, it would have help improved the American economy by making available funds which banks could borrow to American citizens for business related activities and the such activities would create jobs for American people etc.

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Personally the arrangement of ideas in this Ad was very was very effective and the arrangement of evidences to support the main idea was splendid. This was an attempt to demonize Romney and blame him for economic situation at that time. However looking at things objectively Romney is a business man, and the goal of every businessman is to make profits so every sane business man will act in like-manner like Romney, such as outsourcing of jobs, investing in Tax haven if he or she feels it is profitable.

The Cheaters 2012 (Barack Obama’s campaign) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_MI4YOICmuA

This 30 seconds audio-visual Obama Ad is titled The Cheaters, this title is arrived at by taking out excerpt from Romney’s speech which is as follows “It’s time to stand up to the cheaters and make sure we protect jobs for the American people” Funny enough this excerpt was taken from Romney’s TV Ad against Obama accusing Obama of not standing up to China Hence being a cheater. So we could argue that this Obama Tv Ad is a response to Romney’s Tv Ad. The architect of this Ad are very smart, in that they used Romney’s words which he accused Obama of cheating and not standing up to china against him. This they did by picking up key phrases in Romney’s Ad such as “Stand up to” “the cheaters” and “protect jobs” which he accused Obama of, then using those key phrases against Romney. This they did by providing evidences to prove that what he accused Obama of, he (Romney) is guilty of it; that is, “not standing up to china”. This evidences are presented as follows

Firstly, transferring employment to china. Romney’s investment company called Bain capital has overtime systematically invested in companies that focus on shifting jobs from United States to china.[6]This is a direct link to the fact that Romney has not stood up to china. For how can you claim you are standing up to a country and then still indirectly provide jobs for that country at the expense of your own country. That is highly hypocritical and dishonest; this was what Romney’s action implied. This was what Obama TV Ad was trying to capitalize on. That Romney is a hypocrite and dishonest hence “The Cheater.” This evidence is aimed at making the American public view Romney as unpatriotic. For his investment patterns was taking jobs from the American people and transferring them to China. Americans are very patriotic people, so they would not vote for a presidential candidate that reflect unpatriotic sentiments.

Personally I feel this was a very convincing message, that Romney was not standing up to china for the way the Obama TV portrayed it

Secondly, heavily investing in china. The surveillance industry in china is a booming industry due to the rising threat of insecurity as a result of large and growing population. This Obama TV Ad help to highlight the fact that significant portion of Romney’s wealthy is invested in the surveillance industry in china.[7] This directly boosts the Chinese economy, provide jobs for Chinese people. This action of Romney’s firms highly illustrates the fact that Romney is not standing up to china instead he is supporting china. These furthermore reinforces the fact that he is supporting china at the expense of the American people. This has negative connotation on the voting populace. For the American people have been wary of china for it is a direct threat to the American economy. For it is a hub for cheap labor and a distribution point for cheap product to the United States. Due to this economic characteristics of china, American has been losing funds and jobs to china. So Obama TV Ad on the second point helps to illustrate that Romney has chosen to align himself with china which is a threat to American economy. Thus, it indicates that Romney is supporting china. This message the Obama TV Ad tries to pass across to the American people that Romney is supporting china which depriving them jobs while he claims he is not supporting china.

To sum up, the two TV Ad of Obama titled Firms 2012 and the cheaters 2012 were designed to were designed portray Mitt Romney in a negative fashion. The Tv Ad Title Firms 2012 was designed so that the American public could perceive Mitt Romney as the cause of America’s economic challenges due to foreign outsourcing of jobs and investment in tax havens which indirectly causes unemployment and reduction in funds available in the American economy. More so the campaign advertisement title “The cheaters 2012” was to show mitt Romney as not a dishonest person, for he claimed he would stand up to china, however his financial company was heavily investing in china directly and indirectly


Source: http://www.inc.com/gene-marks/mitt-romney-small-business-admit-when-youre-wrong.html

Mitt Romney, has had successful career both academically, politically and businesswise until the presidential election in 2012 which he lost to Barack Obama. He studied in Ivy League schools such as Stanford and Harvard[8]. Politically he was one time governor of Massachusetts. Businesswise he owns a very profitable financial company called Bain capital.[9]This company has been very profitable to Romney and has help to manage his financial assets and channel funds to profitable investments.

Conservative Agenda 2012 (Mitt Romney’s campaign)


The first few words of this campaign Tv advertisement summarizes everything in this video. That is Mitt Romney claiming that he would make the American government simpler smaller and smarter, this he further explains he would do through nationalization of programs eliminating non-essential programs and Obamacare. This his rhetoric is highly conservative and a reflection of Republican Party doctrine. Republican Party are not in favor of welfare programs, that may explain why he said he will get rid of programs(Obamacare).He also talks about introducing spending cut and balancing of budget. By this he is trying to show that Obama’s government are not literate enough to handle the American economy. More so his approach here to what is causing job loss for the American people is government deficit as a result of excessive spending .In this campaign add he is outlining the problems of the American economy and offering solutions to it. He is not directing his criticism at Obamas personality but at the institution that represent Obamas government. Besides his words in this video is portraying care and concern for the American people and the future. He is portraying himself as a responsible father by talking about the negative impact the Obama government is having on the future of the American kid.

Give Me a Break 2012 (Mitt Romney’s campaign)


“Give me a break” means literally excuse me or give me breathing space. This could literally mean mitt Romney telling Obama to give the American people a break, for even former president Clinton said the same word in 2008 presidential campaign about Obama, highlighting the fact that he could not see any meaningful solution Obama would bring. For since Obama took office the American economy has regressed, the middle class are falling backward and large chunk of the American population are looking for job.

Failing American Workers 2012 (Mitt Romney’s campaign)


The title of campaign advertisement summarizes everything in this video. Before Obama took office for the first time he promised to create jobs and revive the economy. However the video illustrates that Obama has failed to meet up to his promises, thereby failing the American workers, who are affected most by his failure. Romney shows using figures that illustrate that Americas manufacturing jobs was more than china but when Obama took office, it drop till the extent that china overtook America in manufacturing jobs. An excess of half a million manufacturing jobs were lost under Obamas first administration. This is a concrete prove that Obama has failed the American worker. This is the message Romney is trying to pass across.

Failing American Families 2012 (Mitt Romney’s campaign)


Family is a very important factor in among the conservative in the American society. Romney is using the family as a weapon to show that under Obamas administration family income has on a regular interval been reducing by 4000 dollars and furthermore he also illustrates that national debt have increased steadily. By this happen he has failed to meet up to the expectation he promised the American people when he initially took office hence failed the American families.


In this section would attempt to analyze Obama campaign and Romney campaign separately then show the differences and similarities between the two

The differences between Obama campaign and Romney campaign in this Video clips is that the two Obama video clips are is more of a personality attack on Romney, designed to create negative sentiment about Romney. Secondly it is mainly focused on Romney as the cause of the problems. Thirdly it it is attacking Romney’s business life. Taking his past business activity and associating it to be the cause of American economic problems and increase unemployment. While alternatively Romney’s campaign advertisement is has substance. Substance in the sense that it is using statistics, numerical facts to prove that Obamas first time in office has done America more harm than good. He does that by comparing America’s economy (house hold income, employment rate and debt burden), before Obama took office and after Obama’s first term in office. He used it to prove that America has not made progress domestically and internationally when compared to china. Personally this is highly convincing, concrete and professional. The challenge to Romney’s approach is that it appeal to the intellectuals and highly educated. In short it appeal to the brain because it the argument are logical and factual. But, it is not the whole American population that would view his campaign from that standpoint. More so Romney’s campaign advertisement was more nationalistic and futuristic. He was trying to make the America public understand the negative impact of Obamas government in the first four years on the future of the American people.

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More so, Romney’s campaign Advertisement was making use of authority’s facts, such as information from national bureau of statistics, while Obama was utilizing information from newspapers etc. But when view both campaign, Obama campaign seemed to have more effects because it appealed to the emotion. It provoked negative feelings towards Romney by the American people, no wonder Obama won the presidential election the second time.

In conclusion, Obama negative campaigning again Romney won again Romney’s logical and systematic and factual representation of campaign advertisement can personally learn from this that people may response more effectively to emotionally charged campaign advertisement than to logical and factual campaign advertisement. More so independent research also suggest that Obama was more genuine that Romney, only God knows.


1. McNair, Brian. An introduction to political communication. Taylor & Francis, 2011.

2. Webster, M. (n.d.). . . Retrieved, from http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/purposeful.

3. McNair, Brian. An introduction to political communication. Taylor & Francis, 2011 p6

5. Dharmapala, D., & Hines Jr, J. R. (2007, April). Which countries become tax havens?. InAmerican Law & Economics Association Annual Meetings(p. 48). bepress.

6. Hamburger, T. (n.d.). Romney’s Bain Capital invested in companies that moved jobs overseas.. Retrieved May 15, 2014, from http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/romneys-bain-capital-invested-in-companies-thatmoved-jobs-overseas/2012/06/21/gJQAsD9ptV_story.html

7. JACOBS, A., & BULLOCK, P. (2012, March 15). Firm Romney Founded Is Tied to Chinese Surveillance.. Retrieved May 15, 2014, from http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/16/world/asia/bain-capital-tied-to-surveillance-push-in-china.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

8. The American Presidency. (n.d.). . Retrieved May 14, 2014, from https://www.britannica.com/presidents/article-9439058

[1] McNair, Brian. An introduction to political communication. Taylor & Francis, 2011.

[2] Webster, M. (n.d.). . . Retrieved, from http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/purposeful.

[3] ibid

[4] McNair, Brian. An introduction to political communication. Taylor & Francis, 2011 p6

[5] Dharmapala, D., & Hines Jr, J. R. (2007, April). Which countries become tax havens?. InAmerican Law & Economics Association Annual Meetings(p. 48). bepress.

[6] Hamburger, T. (n.d.). Romney’s Bain Capital invested in companies that moved jobs overseas.. Retrieved May 15, 2014, from http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/romneys-bain-capital-invested-in-companies-thatmoved-jobs-overseas/2012/06/21/gJQAsD9ptV_story.html

[7] JACOBS, A., & BULLOCK, P. (2012, March 15). Firm Romney Founded Is Tied to Chinese Surveillance.. Retrieved May 15, 2014, from http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/16/world/asia/bain-capital-tied-to-surveillance-push-in-china.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

[8] The American Presidency. (n.d.). . Retrieved May 14, 2014, from https://www.britannica.com/presidents/article-9439058

[9] ibid


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