Tom Cotton Ads Analysis

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George Orwell once said that “Political language… is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable.” The use of this kind of language in political campaign ads most often determines the technique of advertising that was used. Political advertisements have the power to persuade, inform, and alienate certain voters. After analyzing two Tom Cotton ads, there were noticeable shared characteristics. These two ads were negative forms of advertising, emphasized certain attributes, appealed to one’s emotions, and stated factual claims. The two ads that I chose are both forms of negative campaign ads. The ad that was sponsored by Sen. Tom Cotton was considered to be a contrast ad. A contrast ad is one that has information on both the…show more content…
Sen. Pryor exploited the fears of voters when he chose domestic violence as the focus for his attack ad. Attack ads in politics have often been used to point out the risks associated with voting for a certain candidate. And in this particular ad that fear could come from someone that advocates for those in abusive relationships, or from those in abusive relationships themselves. This play on emotions helped to shape the voters views of Sen. Cotton. Just as Sen. Pryor appealed to the voters when he used an attack ad, Sen. Cotton used a similar technique. Because Sen. Cotton contrasted himself with Sen. Pryor, he encouraged voters to think about both sides of the competition. Sen. Cotton used similar areas of focus in his ad. He showed how he voted multiple times to increase the budget for pediatric research at Children’s Hospital, while Sen. Pryor voted to cut the budget for Children’s Hospital by 62 million dollars. Instead of a syntax that portrayed dislike and negativity, Sen. Cotton took an informative stand point in his ad. This could cause some voters to sway towards Sen. Cotton because they may feel that he informed them instead of attacking his opponent. To summarize, each ad appealed to the different emotions of potential voters using certain topics of debate and by stating factual…show more content…
In the pro-Cotton ad, Sen. Cotton included facts on himself and his opponent, Sen. Pryor. To elaborate, Sen. Cotton commented on a previous anti-Cotton attack ad stating that the information given was false. He also stated that Children’s hospital did not lose any money for funding and that he voted for an increase in pediatric research funding. However, Sen. Pryor voted to decrease the overall budget of the hospital and he was also the deciding vote for Obamacare, which put some people’s health insurance at risk. Similarly, the anti-Cotton ad focused on the facts. The ad began with a young woman saying that one in four women would be a victim of domestic violence and that Sen. Cotton was the only person to vote against the Violence against Women act in Arkansas. Unlike the pro-Cotton ad, Sen. Pryor does not say whether or not he voted for or against the bill being discussed. Omitting his own stand on the Violence against Women Act, Sen. Pryor does not give the voters that watched the ad an opportunity to compare the senators’ decision on the act being discussed. In conclusion, using facts is an important part of persuading potential voters, yet the facts used can be taken out of context and used to mislead

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