Analyze This

It can be difficult to always keep your audience in mind when creating an argument and even more difficult to fully understand your audience’s perspectives. However, as writers, we must make an effort. If we fail to understand our audience well enough, we can fail in delivering our message and being persuasive.

In this Analyze This video, watch as one student analyzes a political ad meant for a female audience. The ad, created during the 2014 campaign season, has sparked controversy and debate.

Video Transcript
Student says:

To help us understand the importance of a writer knowing his or her audience, my professor assigned us a short video for analysis. I selected a political ad targeting women from the 2014 Florida governor campaign.

When the video begins, I am not sure that this is a political ad, but I can see it is playing off of the reality television program “Say Yes to the Dress.”

The young woman announces at the beginning of the video that budget is important to her, and she seems to be talking about wedding dresses. However, when she refers to the wedding dress as the “Rick Scott,” it becomes clear she is talking about a political candidate.

The young woman’s mom in the video wants her daughter to buy an ugly dress, which is referred to as the other political candidate.

This ad makes an assumption for its audience—women. The idea here seems to be that by associating the political candidates with wedding dresses, women might become more interested in voting and may vote the way the ad is persuading them to vote.

However, this ad has become extremely controversial. Many women have spoken out against the idea that women want to hear about politics in terms of wedding dresses.

The ad clearly makes some assumptions about its audience that women do not want to hear about budgets or other issues important in a governor’s race, such as education and health care.

The creators of this ad missed their mark. The comments below the video seem to reflect the common sentiments about it: Many women view the ad as sexist. Those who don’t at the very least see the ad as ineffective.

In this instance, the makers of this ad did not consider their audience very well.

Grumble... Applaud... Please give us your feedback!