Election Rhetoric

WRA 325: Understanding Election Rhetoric

For this assignment, we were tasked in drafting a proposal for a campaign based on a TV or Movie character. The goal was to focus on using what we know of the character to develop language and design rhetoric to create a viable campaign. 

I chose to center my project around Tom Haverford from Parks and Recreation. My justification being that the show was based on politics the comedic characters within the government parks department. Tom’s character, however, has always been the outlier, as he is very eccentric and more focused on his own successes. Throughout the show he creates several businesses outside of the parks department, he has an existing social media following where he often markets himself through unique hashtags and slogans. He is often trying to market himself as an influencer. At one point in the series, he creates a movement amongst his followers called “treat yo self” where he encourages his friends and followers to buy luxury items for themselves. I felt there was a unique campaign in there as an influencer setting off to make the United States more 'trendy' and wanted to use my knowledge of rhetoric and design to create that campaign. 

Project Layout

To create this project, I had to first understand Tom's character and figure out what type of rhetoric and design would he use. What would he say if he were running for president? What colors would he use? Etc. I researched what rhetorical choices I believe he would make if he were to run for President. I then designed his campaign and his logos/posters/flyers,etc..

I chose to work with visual media. Creating designs that would fit into the modern or trendy look that stray away from the standard American campaign designs. Specifically, changing the look of America from red, white and blue to more unique and vibrant colors such as pink, orange, purple, green, etc. The campaign will specifically be appealing to a younger audience and those who value aesthetics. To create the logos and designs, I used Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop as well as Google Slides to create and present everything. 

Design Rhetoric

Lastly, in creating the campaign, I designed merch for his campaign based off the chosen colors and slogans I created. This was done to show my understanding of not only the character, but how certain designs can be used to capture people's attention and make them want to learn more. 

I came to the determination that Tom's audience was not only the people of America, but more specifically, American youth who were also interested in trends and social media. So, to help his campaign, I created a social media account with hashtags and slogans for him to use along his campaign. 

I really enjoyed working on this project and felt it was a unique and entertaining way to not only understand rhetorical choices through language and design, but learn how to implement them and alter them based on individual circumstances. 

Using Format