Analysis of Emotional Character of the Poem Still I Rise
“You may write me in history, with your bitter, twisted lies, you may trod me in the very dirt, but still, like dust, I’ll rise.” This poem by the late Maya Angelou is used by the University of Phoenix in the video “Still I Rise” as a way to persuade college students into joining their school. This college video advertisement by the University of Phoenix uses heavy emotion and credibility with a subtle hint of logic to persuade its viewers to join their school.
The subject in this video is Gail Marquis. Marquis was born in New York City, New York November 18th, 1954 but spent most of her childhood in Queens. She played basketball when she was young and It did not take her long to figure out her passion for the sport. As Marquis started getting closer to her high school graduation, she contacted colleges herself to get discovered for her talent because there was not any scouts (Miron). The University of Phoenix praises dedication like this in their students. As she started college at Queens Community College in New York she struggled to balance her academic and athletic life. Her coach helped her persevere through this tough time by having her teach kids the game of basketball. This eventually paid off in her sophomore year because she led her team to the national championship and they were the first women’s team to play at Madison Square Garden. In 1976, she won a silver medal in basketball at the Olympics. After her athletic career she decided to head to Wall Street to work in a financial service firm without any formal training. After 30 years of working on Wall Street she decided to get her MBA at the University of Phoenix in 2006 as her last big achievement. In Gail Marquis` lifetime she experienced racism, homophobia, sexism and stereotyping. She rose above it and that showed the viewers that anyone can do anything no matter what they have been through in life. Marquis now challenges students to be dedicated and pursue their goals just like the University of Phoenix does. By featuring Marquis in the commercial the University of Phoenix portrayed their students beliefs, hard work and perseverance through her.
This college advertisement, unlike most college ads relies heavily on emotional persuasion. The whole advertisement is a brief biography on Gail Marquis and shows that even though you may be struggling right now the University of Phoenix will help you “rise” to your potential. As well as, the biography of Marquis, playing in the background is the poem “Still I Rise” by Maya Angelou to instill an empowerment in students and give them the motivation to join the University of Phoenix. The ad relates to the LGBTQ community by showing Gail and her wife Audrey Smaltz at a peaceful protest for gay rights. Racism and sexism are not shown outright but are implied because of the time period. The ad has a gay woman of color in an empowered position which can inspire people in similar situations as Gail. Above all this advertisement uses emotion to appeal to its viewers in many ways.
Although this advertisement does not focus as much on logic to appeal to the viewers there is still logic being used. The video is professionally done and is designed in a way that impresses students. It features the famous Gail Marquis and the well known “Still I rise” poem by Maya Angelou as a persuasion technique. As well as being professionally done the video is broadcasted all over television, youtube and many social media sites so it is very popular. The video itself also appeals to students by giving them the visual elements to show how much the University of Phoenix can really shape your life.
This college advertisement is like no other advertisement in the way it persuades its viewers. Compared to most college advertisements this advertisement feeds on pathos other than logos to persuade students to join the University of Phoenix. According to marketingcharts.com college video advertisements that are creatively unique are the second most watched college video advertisements next to humorous advertisements (MarketingCharts staff). What strikes most people about this ad is how realistic it is and how it feels as if you are watching a movie trailer instead of a college advertisement. Most college video advertisements hit viewers with a lot of statistics in the first couple seconds of the video and that can be very overwhelming for the viewer. As well as statistics the beginning of these videos typically give out the school’s name out right and you typically know what the rest of the video is going to be about. This video,however, starts slow and gradually and the viewer is kept asking questions as to what college this is. Lastly it builds up to the finale where they reveal the college’s name, a little information about their top majors and contact information. The biography of the famous Gail Marquis acts as an emotionally empowering persuasion technique by the University of Phoenix and really grasps the viewers attention from start to finish
The University of Phoenix uses heavy emotion and credibility as well as logic to persuade its viewers to discover their school. The biography of Gail Marquis shows that even though you will have challenges in life with the University of Phoenix you will still rise. From the empowering poem “Still I rise” by Maya Angelou to the visual biography of Gail Marquis this video advertisement uses a variety of persuasion techniques to really persuade people into joining their school. Creative and unique college advertisements like these are the ones that will stand out and be the ones that people will want to watch in the future.
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