It seems that everybody and everything in today’s world tries to make a lasting psychological impact. Good qualities, features and deeds are so much exaggerated and showed from a hyperbolic perspective that after perceiving such kind of information human brain’s “filter” is full of versatile elements hard to shape without anybody’s help. Presidential campaign is not an exception and, without a doubt, gives the most efficient brainwashing effect. Barak Obama as well as other candidates has his own visual rhetoric strategies and ways how to manipulate people with the help of a simple at first sight picture. In his posters one may find very profound and fervent elements, which simultaneously shape the main question arising in our head – why do I so meticulously look and focus all my attention to this picture?
Indisputably, the first hook that makes a significant impact is a rhetoric situation around space. Obama is depicted alone in a limited scope. To some extend we can draw parallels between using this method and chamber music - special music, which is played only in a kind of enclosure. This means that a specific effect can be reached only when surrounding conditions meet the general requirement. The same thing is with Obama. His outstanding figure is not decentralized, but takes the central position as well as is depicted from an interesting visual angle. The photographer took a lower position to take a photo and concentrated primary on a head. Obviously, the fact that we see almost nothing but his head means that nothing else matters. In such a way Obama says: “Hey, people, I do need anybody’s help. I have my own head to lead the state. This is my driving force, but not the support from the outside”. Moreover, his loneliness gives the idea of superiority, independence and self-confidence. The second hint is around Obama’s eyes. His assiduous and vigilant look shows the strong determination and eagerness to achieve a key goal. The first thought that just pops up in the head is that he is looking in the future and tries to make it better for every citizen. Therefore, while presenting Barak Obama’s figure, members of campaign think tank tried to do their best to keep voters eyes and mind focused on small details, which, in their turn, would affect our subconsciousness.
The second evident matter is the special usage of colors, with the help of which Obama attracts our eyes and wants to deliver a message to the wide audience. Undoubtedly, red color is the first to be noticed and paid attention to. For most people this color means power, stamina, and determination. However, this is also the color of love and passion. With the help of a red color Obama shows that he has all essential and compulsory features to be a charismatic politic leader. Another perspective should not be omitted too. Red flags are widely used to make bulls active and angry. In this case we cannot speak only about bulls but about people too. Red flags were used in Soviet Union and are still present at some state’s flags. Such fact has a deeper and subtle meaning - red color increases people’s anticipation, enhances the speed of all physiological processes in our body. Another aspect comprises simultaneous usage of three colors in the picture, which are red, blue, and white. For every American these three colors should be the most vivid example of national symbolism because of being used on a state flag. Everyone who is patriotic and devoted to the Motherland just cannot turn a blind eye and pretend not to bother. Consequently, the sole purpose of using the special color spectrum is to persuade that Barak Obama is the best leader to follow, who will defend his native country.
Finally, rhetorical situation comes to the textual means of persuading – largely written word “HOPE”. In everyday life we are using this word all the time and it is an integral part of our day routine. People sometimes say that they have nothing but hope. Everybody has a shortage of something or considers that some vital elements are just absent. However, hope is always present among people. Even in the most drastic and dreadful situations there is nothing to do but hope. Therefore, hope is an essential part of our lives and us. Representation of textual means reveal its essence – to show that Obama is a task-oriented and strong leader who expects only good changes to come. Moreover, he has his wits about him even in the most unpredictable situations. His primary aim is not to squander time, but overcome all hurdles in order to lead an American society to a decent achievement.
Presidential Campaign Poster of Barak Obama is used to make a strong effect on people’s perception of the situation. The poster uses different techniques to indicate that Barak Obama is the best candidate: space, color and angle, textual evidence. Moreover, he is demonstrated with a tough expression of the face to persuade that he takes everything into meticulous consideration and perceive everything seriously. Such usage of means of persuasion indeed indicates that Obama is a motivated and wise politician as well as a great patriot of his country who is deserved to be voted for. After analyzing the image of Barak Obama, it is obvious that persuasive elements are deeply hidden in the picture. One may find it difficult to identify them or to do so-called “reading between the lines”. Now the first question raised in thesis statement is totally clear while the analysis explains what exactly makes us concentrate on the poster. It can be definitely claimed that one may fall into a trap and be easily manipulated due to the usage of rhetorical situations as in our case. As a phrase says “The ballot is stronger than bullets.” That is why everybody should be careful in an imposing and persuasive surrounding just because his or her choice may be decisive and put a dot in a nail-biting competition.