Advertising Fallacies in Political Campaign Ads

Over the years this country has endured many a smear campaign, but this video takes the cake…

Wow…

This ad was created by the Latino Victory Fund in response to Ed Gillespie running for governor of Virginia. Gillespie’s apparent racist tendencies sparked outrage and the Latino Victory Fund responded with this ad depicting a Gillespie supporter terrorizing minority children.

What are the Optics?

We can tell that this ad was created to ruffle feathers, to say the least, so let’s break down who the intended audience is and why the ad was created in the first place.

Audience:

  • The audience this ad was created for comprises of minority progressives, specifically Latino who do not agree with the policies of Donald Trump and Ed Gillespie.
  • Another audience could also be made up of anti-Trump supporters.
  • Civil Rights activists
  • Protesters

What does the Latino Victory Fund want us to see?

The original idea of this ad was to turn the viewer away from anti-progressive platforms specifically Trump and Gillespie and the ad succeeded to a degree.

Based on the rhetoric used in this ad, we can deduce that the LVF wants the viewer to feel enraged and empowered against the racist and xenophobic platforms of Gillespie and Trump. The LVF wants the viewer to rise up and fight the oppression that minorities are subjected to.

The ad’s argument stands wholly on fallacies:

Ad Hominim

Strawman

Slippery Slope

The use of these three fallacies does not lend any help to the LVF’s cause. From a rhetorician perspective, the ad succeeds in rallying the hearts of the intended audience, but due to the blatant use of fallacies, reach of the ad’s message was stifled.

My Final Take

The LVF was relying too much on the cultural climate to carry this ad. By airing this ad and using fear-mongering as their main defense the LVF’s argument weakens. If the LVF wanted to control viewers outside of their audience they should not have stereotypes all Guliesppies voters. Another flaw was that they misused the power they held by name dropping Trump at the end of the ad. If the LVF refrained from doing this they would have retained the power that they gave away.

Most Importantly…

The ad itself contradicts with the overall message that progressives and liberals push — anti-hate. Using stereotypes to further their agenda undermines the point of their ad which is justice, equality, and safety for all groups.

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