2000–Gore Environmental Ad–Justin Geiser
In a political ad paid for by the Al Gore campaign in 2000, Gore hammers home the idea that one of his top priorities if elected President would be to better protect the environment. The production and airing of this ad was as expected due to the expanding popularity of the green movement. Gore has become somewhat of a leader for environmentalists and captured the votes of just about everyone who considered environmental protection and energy a hot button issue.
Al Gore had been looking for a while to get the message out on a wider spectrum to not only the American people but the world, when it came to the consequences of pollution. Gore got all the publicity he needed when he was selected as the Democratic candidate for President and was able to warn the country that we could not continue at the current pace without risking environmental catastrophe and global warming. Since 2000, the global warming issue has become a common topic of conversation and I believe that most of the credit for that should go to Al Gore. Between his ad campaigns highlighting the energy crisis and documentaries like “An Inconvenient Truth,” environmental issues have come front and center. Evidence of this is pretty much everywhere as just about every product you buy today in stores is considered environmentally friendly or has some “green” label on it.
In the year 2000, the United States produced nearly twice as many greenhouse gases from the burning of fossil fuels than the second leading country (China). Gore used this statistic to differentiate himself from the Republican candidate (George W. Bush) and to promise change in American industry. While President Bush stated that he intended to help cut pollution, he didn’t really have a cut and dry plan of action like Gore did. Bush said that he planned to rely on state and local communities to cut pollution while Gore planned to take federal action to protect the environment. Gore shared his plan promising to credit companies who cut their emissions and promised to cap all off-shore drilling that was scheduled to begin as well as stop some drilling that had already begun. His promise to limit nuclear energy and find sources of renewable energy drew criticism by many republicans who argued that it would cost too much money to switch over to renewable energy so quickly.
The ad itself focuses primarily on protecting America’s beaches from the consequences of off-shore drilling. The scenes shown during the ad are of beaches at dusk and dawn making them look like a paradise. This stylistic effect gives off the feeling that our beaches really are something special and we will lose them unless we do something about it. Another sneaky piece of pathos that this ad uses is when it shows a happy family taking a walk on the beach as Al Gore discusses how almost all Americans have built memories on our beaches. This allows most of the viewers to identify not only with that family in the ad but also to Al Gore who like everyone else has fond memories of the beach. The ad then cuts to Gore who is standing with a very business-like look on his face letting everyone know how seriously he is taking this issue. He states “We need to protect our Oceans and beaches and if elected President, I’ll do that.” The following video is stylistically intriguing as it is mostly of the oil rigs off the coast and highlighting the smog and flames coming off of them almost making them look demonic or evil. This style helps Al Gore sort of look like the good guy who is going to take down these evil oil rigs that are destroying our precious beaches.
The ending of this ad is pretty much the same as every other Presidential campaign ad and can be described in one word: cheesy. Like most other ads that try to end with a clever one liner, this one ends with Gore stating, “To be good stewards of our Earth, we must create a future worthy of our children.” While he is saying this, the video on screen is of three little children playing in the surf on a beach at dusk in a cheesy attempt to gain sympathy from the audience. Ideally, Gore would come off as a family man who is fighting for your right to enjoy the beaches of our great country. I thought overall this was an effective ad in that the main thing I took from this ad after watching it for the first time was that Al Gore wants to protect our environment so our children will be able to enjoy it just as we always have. After all, who doesn’t enjoy a warm beach at dusk?
http://www.4president.org/issues/bush2000/bush2000issues.htm (Bush’s views)
http://www.issues2000.org/Al_Gore.htm (Gore’s views)