The student blog for Drake University first year seminar entitled Visual Politics

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Kristi Noem of South Dakota

Kristi Noem Political Commercial

By: Katie Getting

     Kristi Noem is running for the only Congressional seat that comes from South Dakota. She is in a tight race with Stephanie Herseth, the Democratic politician who has held the House seat since 2004. Noem has been a member of the South Dakota House of Representatives since 2006. This is an example of one of her many family based commercials that has been running in the past few months.

     The opening scene of this ad is of a prairie land with what seems to be storm clouds passing over. This gives an ominous feeling, and the viewer doesn’t know whether the commercial will be positive or negative. It is later that they show a picture of prairie land with a beautiful sunset, and you see the beauty and positive side to what they are trying to talk about. This will definitely appeal to the people of South Dakota because a large part of their way of life involves farming and interacting with nature and its many resources.

     A note of sympathy first pulls in the viewer because it shows a picture of Kristi’s father and tells of his death. Who wouldn’t tune in after hearing something like that? She then moves on to talk about the duty she felt after the death to return home and help take care of the family farm. She pleads for the people of South Dakota to respond to the call of duty of electing her to the House of Representatives. She states that that is what is needed at this time because South Dakota is not being heard in Congress. This is a very good tactic because everyone, to at least some degree, wants to do their part for their country. I think that her family values standpoint is striking for many South Dakotans. Family is a big part of the farming community, and the state she wants to represent is a very rural state.

     The part of the ad with the little boy waving an American flag very slowly kind of threw me off. The viewer sees the patriotism in the act, but what is with the slow motion? Maybe they just needed a time filler, or maybe they thought that this would be appealing to the audience they were trying to capture. Upon viewing it a second time, I noticed that when this scene occurs, she is talking about how the children of society are the ones who are going to have to pay back the national debt that has risen uncontrollably. Looking at the little boy while hearing this tugs at your heart strings, and you want to do almost anything in your power to make sure he doesn’t have to face all the struggles we do in today’s society.

     Her main appeal is to make people feel a sense of duty. This duty could mean voting for her, protecting our children from the harsh realities that they will face tomorrow, or hold Congress accountable for their out of control spending. She feels that she has done her duty to her family, and now, she can perform the duty that the state needs her to do. By voting for her, you are fulfilling a part of the duty you have as a citizen of the state of South Dakota.

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