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The Wall-1987

In the late-1980s, military and political tensions between the Soviet Union and the U.S. were settling down largely because of a series of nuclear arms treaties that limited the number of weapons a nation could have while also reducing the number that existed. A division still existed, but negotiations toward furthering peaceful relations were occurring. President Reagan was one of several presidents to visit Berlin, Germany during his presidency. Berlin not only represented considerable history generally, but it was the material location where east (Communism) and west (Democracy) were divided by a wall built in 1961 to discourage people from running from the eastern side of the city to the western side, across a line established to demarcate the Soviet-controlled sector of the city and the U.S.-controlled sector after World War II.

Reagan’s speech reviews much of the history of the Cold War, but he announces to the world (not just an American audience) further invitation to the Soviet Union to establish peace and freedoms. He explicitly makes this invitation near the end of the speech:

And I invite Mr. Gorbachev: Let us work to bring the Eastern and Western parts of the city closer together, so that all the inhabitants of all Berlin can enjoy the benefits that come with life in one of the great cities of the world.

To open Berlin still further to all Europe, East and West, let us expand the vital air access to this city, finding ways of making commercial air service to Berlin more convenient, more comfortable, and more economical. We look to the day when West Berlin can become one of the chief aviation hubs in all central Europe.

With—With our French—With our French and British partners, the United States is prepared to help bring international meetings to

Berlin. It would be only fitting for Berlin to serve as the site of United Nations meetings, or world conferences on human rights and arms control, or other issues that call for international cooperation.

I analyze the speech relative to the model. However, the reader should note a pattern emerging with the selection of speeches and their analyses in this chapter—I started with a speech that not only was limited to radio broadcast but was addressed to the U.S. audience, and I have moved to speeches that were broadcast via television and to audiences that included U.S. as well as audiences of other nations. With each move, the message requires additional multimodal persuasive rhetoric to affect an influence.

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