Thursday, February 11, 2016

Marco Rubio's Powerful Depiction of the American Dream

Marco Rubio's "Bartender" is one of the most powerful ads in the 2016 presidential campaign thus far. Invoking a pathos and nationalism that resonates with all Americans, "Bartender" shows Rubio at his greatest. He does this using clever editing and musical techniques and a message that everyone wants to believe.
The ad starts with shots of Rubio's father coming home from work. These scenes are in sepia tone and slowly fade in and out to convey how they display the past. These shots invoke a sense of nostalgia because of the camera angles and music. The music starts out as only emotional piano, and the angles all obscure Rubio's father's face, as if the viewer is a kid again, seeing their own father come home from work. Rubio voices over these scenes describing his father and the dreams his father had.
Rubio then changes the subject by saying "He wanted all the doors that closed for him to open for me," and there is a shot of Rubio waking up to the podium, still in sepia tone. "And my father stood behind a portable bar all those years," says Rubio. "So I could stand here behind this podium in front of this room and this nation."
The camera changes to a shot of Rubio in full color. This change of color is the most genius rhetorical strategy in the ad. It clearly defines Rubio today from his struggling father in the past. Rubio is young and represents, to some, a change of character for a Republican candidate. This change in color enhances this view and gives hope for the viewer that the American Dream could be a reality. The advertisement ends with an animation of Marco Rubio's hip, lowercase logo.


  1. Great deconstruction of the appeal to pathos! Clearly Rubio knows exactly what he's doing (pun intended). I would have liked to see you taking a look at the logical fallacies involved in this advertisement- the one that strikes me as being the most obvious is Ad Populum.

  2. You did a very good job analyzing the different rhetorical appeals in the ad. I thought that your analysis of the change from sepia to full color was very well thought out. I would have liked to see you connect this ad to immigration in some way. Marco Rubio's father was an immigrant and tying in immigration to this analysis would have made it all the better.