October 29, 2008
Obama Infomerical: Too Much or Just Right?
Before the curtains close and lights dim on the 2008 Presidential election, Sen. Barack Obama made a grand appeal to the nation with a 30-minute infomercial tonight. Though it spoke to blue-collar and middle class workers across the nation, one question remains: Will it sway the necessary voters?
Too Much: Renita Burns, Editorial Assistant, BlackEnterprise.com
The ad was laced with personal stories from middle class Americans that undoubtedly echoed the circumstances of millions of people across the nation. But it presented nothing new about Obama’s platform. He reiterated his green jobs platform, his plans for education, and his plans for health care. Given that the public is already flooded with this information via the Internet, cell phones, billboards, video game ads, and every other imaginable place an ad, text, audio or Obama supporter can be placed; the effectiveness of this infomercial alone is dubious.
It couldn’t get anymore clichÃ©. Waves of grain sway in the (presumably) crisp winds. Violins play softly as one woman fights back tears after being greeted by Obama. He ends the film surrounded by a roaring Florida stadium filled to the brim with supporters.
While it is understandable that Obama’s marginal leads in many key states and a number of undecided voters does not make an Obama win guaranteed in the final days of the campaign, will the Sally Fields-esque infomercial get the job done?
Just Right: Janell Hazelwood, Copy Editor, BlackEnterprise.com
Sen. Obama’s infomercial was an eloquently and expertly crafted mini-film that helped put the nail in the coffin in gathering enthusiasm about a man people can relate to. The execution of it can be compared to witnessing the closing remarks of a fiery preacher right before the benediction. The framework reminds one of how people who, seemingly unmoved through the praise and worship portion of a church service, are suddenly awakened in their spirit as the pastor drives his point through examples and anecdotes, giving a final climax of assurrance and affirmations, causing the undecideds to walk to the alter and confirm their plans to join.
In the same sense, Sen. Barack Obama serves as the crowd mover, connecting with an audience on what seems to be a personal and very genuine level, in a film that allows one to humanize him through narratives and stories of his life and those of people whose struggles and triumphs the average citizen can directly relate to, tugging at the heartstrings of those who weren’t quite sure until tonight. It’s not just about spewing words and selling dreams. It’s about believing that the person speaking these thoughts actually believes them for themselves. Obama succeeds in doing just that in his infomercial.
Some have said that Obama has been guilty of showing a weakness for extravagance but we can’t say that Sen. John