Persuasive messages appear in many different types of mediums including television, video games, magazines, books, newspapers, and billboards. One of the newest ways to present a persuasive message is YouTube. YouTube is an internet site that allows users to log on and create or view videos. One person to make use of YouTube as a tool of persuasion is Presidential front runner Hillary Clinton (Raby, 2007). YouTube is taken seriously by Hillary Clinton and for good reason. It has been discovered that the amount of views a candidate has on YouTube is directly related to their success in the polls (Raby, 2007). The more people view your YouTube page the higher your poll ratings (Raby, 2007). Clinton takes the YouTube arm of her campaign so seriously that she employs a chief officer of technology (Hopkins, 2007). In order to narrow the focus of this analysis I am going to analyze the very first video that Hillary Clinton uploaded to her YouTube page which is titled I'm In (YouTube, 2007). First, I will analyze this video in terms of content and persuasive strategies. After analyzing Clinton's Presidential announcement video, I will explain Kenneth Burke's theory of identification. Then I will apply the identification theory directly to the video. It will be argued that Clinton relies heavily on identification to persuade the American public to elect her.
[...] Identification argues that human beings have an innate need to connect with other people and if they feel connected, or are able to identify with a particular message, they are more susceptible to persuasion (Quigley, 1998). The reason the need for this connection is so strong is because humans are inherently separate and divided from one another (Driskill & Camp, 2006). For Burke individuals feel inherently guilty because they are different from other human beings which is why the process of identification becomes necessary (Quigley, 1998). [...]
[...] Kenneth Burke, identification, and rhetorical criticism in the writing classroom. Retrieved December from www.cla.purdue.edu/dblakesley/burke/clark.html Connaughton, S. L. and Jarvis, S. E. (2004, May) Apolitical Politics: GOP Efforts to Foster Identification from U.S. Latinos, 1984-2000 Paper presented at the annual meeting of the International Communication Association, New Orleans Sheraton, New Orleans, LA Online <.PDF> Retrieved 2006-10-05 from www.allacademic.com/meta/p112682_index.html Driskill, G. & Camp, J.W. (2006). Identification strategies for unity: A study of a unity movement among Christian church organizations [Electronic Version]. Journal of Communication & Religion 445-483. [...]
[...] It was designed to send a message that Clinton was a serious Presidential contender not to be underestimated. One strategy Hillary relies upon heavily is identification with voters. In order to understand how the identification functions the next section will discuss Burke's theory of identification in detail. The Theory Identification is a concept developed by Kenneth Burke in his 1952 book titled A Rhetoric of Motives (Quigley, 1998). Burke is perhaps the most influential rhetorical scholar of contemporary times, and his theory of identification is useful for analyzing a variety of different persuasive messages. [...]
[...] Robinson (2007) explains that Clinton's videos was designed to neutralize the threat Obama posed to her and describes the scene and tone of Clinton's video, “Last week's presidential announcement video from Barack Obama seemed fresh, futuristic and YouTube-friendly until Saturday, when Hillary Clinton's in to win" video, as pretty and polished as a Merchant-Ivory production, made Obama's clip look like a student project. Obama, here comes Mama. And she doesn't play.” By waiting until after Obama had announced Clinton was able to ensure that her video was more professional and persuasive. [...]
[...] Identification is inevitable and can be used for positive or negative goals (Jordan, 2005). An example of negative identification would be Hitler identifying with the economic depression that many Germans felt and using it to persuade them that bashing the Jewish population was an acceptable option. Another example of how identification can be used to hide the truth is when capitalist businesses are described only in terms of their larger impact on the economy instead of their impact on alienated workers (Jordan, 2005). [...]
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