Tuesday, April 21, 2009

America-Our Brand

My project was inspired by a class discussion that I had in a public policy course called America in a Global Age. In talking about the benefits of public diplomacy- the importance of explaining our culture and actions directly to the people of foreign nations- we recognized the need to essentially "sell" the American Brand abroad. That got me thinking about the games of politics and advertising, and I grew curious to see whether I could put together a compelling "commercial" for the U.S.

However, as I got more involved in the creative process, I began to experiment with combining contrasting images and sound to produce a subversive political message. Ultimately, I found that even if I paired images reflecting relatively negative messages about America with majestic, overtly positive music, I could create a commercial that generated a positive overall atmosphere.

My final product is a short commercial that chronicles the evolution of Brand America over the last eight years (the real extent of my political memory). The below clip mainly focuses on the changes in Pres. George Bush's expressions over time and the juxtaposition of his face with Pres. Barack Obama's- signifying a major change in American history and the future of our brand.

The process of creating this short advertisement has been an interesting one, since it is my first foray into putting together video clips. However, the project has definitely encouraged me to consider how I can incorporate video compellingly into future projects for other classes as well. Perhaps this summer I will use video to chronicle parts of my Duke Engage experience and to capture interactions with locals that will become a useful aspect of field research for my public policy thesis!
video

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