Bush: I'm George W. Bush and I approve this message.
[Music] Male Announcer: The last few years have tested America in many ways.
Some challenges we've seen before.
And some were like no others.
But America rose to the challenge.
What sees us through tough times?
Freedom, faith, families,
President Bush. Steady leadership in times of change.
|On the Screen: 1. Medium wide shot President Bush, walking the White House colonnade; CG in white "President Bush" across the center of the screen and "www.georgewbush.com" in a tiny font at the bottom. 2. Darkish, B&W clip of person inside a house, leans against a doorway. 3. B&W clip CU of a girl's face, turns to look up. 4. B&W clip of a house; the flag by the front door has a bit of color. 5. B&W clip CU of a woman's face, emerges from shadow. 6. B&W clip CU of a man's face turning toward the camera; there is a flag in the background with a bit of color. 7. B&W clip CU of a boy's face turning, toward man in shadows at side of screen. 8. American flag waving red, white and blue with the grey wrecked facade of the World Trade Center in the background. 9. B&W clip, then fade in color, of man raising flag up a pole while girl watches. 10. Color clip of two kids running by. 11. Color clip of kids in a classroom. 12. Color clip of kids running, a church is in the background. 13. Color clip of man, woman and child. 14. Color clip of two fire fighters in a fire house. 15. Montage of three Bush images; CG "President Bush: Steady Leadership in Times of Change," website address and disclaimer.|
Observations: Very much a "big picture" ad. America, and
by extension President Bush, has been tested. The notion of being
tested is conveyed by the opening black and white clips, including the
person leaning or slumping against a doorway as if receiving heavy news
and the close ups of people's faces turning in different directions.
The American flag appears four times. The first two times it adds a bit of color to black and white (or at least strongly color desaturated) clips. In the third clip it stands out brightly against the grey remains of the World Trade Center in the background. The final clip shows a man raising the flag up a pole while a small girl watches; the clip starts in black and white and ends in color. The net effect is to highlight the flag and what it stands for as one of those things "sees us through tough times."
Other touchstone images are the church to represent faith, a family scene, and the fire fighters to represent sacrifice. (Critics made much of the fact that these were actually actors).
Another noteworthy effect is the use of black and white imagery at the beginning of this ad and the shift to color in the latter part.