The Ad "Mirrors"

The ad "Mirrors"

The ad "Mirrors" comes out at a point when political debates in the U.S. ensue over the upcoming presidential elections in 2016 (Vavreck).

Clinton's strategy

The ad focuses on Clinton degrading a political opponent (Donald Trump) in an attempt to create an impression on the Americans that she is a more competent presidential candidate.

Targeting Trump's supporters

Given that Trump's main supporters are male and being that she is the first U.S. female president candidate, she is convinced that she would have the majority of supporters by tainting Trump's image.

Content of the ad

Nevertheless, the title of the ad "Mirrors" features young teenage girls observing themselves in the mirror, while sound-bytes from Trump plain the background.

Pathos and sadness

The camera keeps on flipping from the teenage girls, who look sad and introspective to the presidential candidate, as his sounds keep on biting. The ultimate goal of the ad is to convince Americans how Trump is abusive, violent and discriminative against gender.

The impact of Trump's words

In the ad, there are two teenage girls carefully looking themselves in the mirror or on their mobile phones.

The use of pathos

There is rhythm between the tunes playing in the background and the popping images. To a surprise, something happens, where Donald Trump says, "I'd look her right in that fat, ugly face of hers. ... She's a slob, she ate like a pig. ... A person who is flat-chested is very hard to be a 10. ... Did she have a good body? No." In the initial seconds of the ad, there is the evident use of pathos, which evokes sadness and pity when looking at the face of the teenage girls.

Eroding women's confidence

The girl's faces show sadness, weakness, and vulnerability, while a slow sad and remorseful music is playing in the background. The camera keeps on changing focus from Trump and the girls, who have to continuously seek solace by checking whether truly, they are as Trump states. In a way, the ad seems to erode the confidence of a woman, as Trump's statements echo in the background, with oppressive words.

Captivating the audience

By looking at the mirrors or the phones, it seems to give the young girls the assurance that they belong to America. However, Trump's words continue taking part of the whole ad while alternating with the faces of the young girls.

The audience's reaction

Throughout the ad that lasts for 30 seconds, the audience is placed in an absorbed mood as they wonder what offensive words they will hear from Trump. Whereas the screen and the images visually place the audience to remain alert and attentive, the audio seems to stress the words from Trump's mouth. The ad aims at captivating particular reactions from the audience, which depicts Trump as an intolerable man who has no room for women.

Implications for daughters and women

As the ad comes to an end, the Americans are left with a question, "Is this the president we want for our daughters?"

A message to parents

The question is aimed at leaving the audience to decide whether they would like their daughters to suffer or not. The use of the term "our daughters" indicates that it is the adults that are targeted who are the custodians of the daughters. Another audience targeted are women, whose Trump's statements seem to oppress or touch irrespective of age. However, it is the young girls whose future will be in shackles if Trump is elected. The ad forms what a CNN reporter states as a strategy Clinton is using to capitalize on all of Trump's weaknesses to gain favor from the Americans. "Throughout her campaign, Clinton has argued that Trump would be ill-equipped president to handle issues that matter to women and girls" (Dan). The proof to this is evident in the Trumps first statements in the ad.

Themes portrayed in the ad

There are several themes portrayed by the ad "Mirrors".

Sexism and gender discrimination

Trump is depicted as a sexist, gender discriminative, racist. Trump says, "I'd look her right in that fat, ugly face of hers. ... She's a slob, she ate like a pig. ... A person who is flat-chested is very hard to be a 10. ... Did she have a good body? No." Sexism is clear when he regards women in terms of sex. The whole statement seems to disregard women based on their sex by saying that it is very hard to be a 10. He thinks that a woman must be slender and physically attractive to be pleasing. The ad targets to inform the audience, especially parents who have daughters that they will be risking the lives of their daughters when they vote Trump.


Trump is depicted to be overtly discriminative. The words he uses shows a strong disregard for women, the symbolizes his deep character and antipathy towards women. Therefore, the ad seems like it is warning against his election. Also, the gender discriminative aspect is evident in that he does not mention any male term or figure or anything to do with them. It means that he is okay with men but not okay with women. The audience receives his words with magnitude, as they define his character from his young to now old age. It shows that he detests for women did not begin today but has been part of his life.


The ad features girls from different races. This tries to imply that another of Trump's character is racism. He is racist and would cause suffering to girls from different races. Whites, Asian and African-American girls are used to emphasize further the aspect of racism. Trump would likely consider race when administering his services to the Americans if elected. Nevertheless, there is a contrast of Hillary and Trump's character trait by mentioning "our daughters" at the end of the ad to show her inclusive and tolerant nature.

Contrasting Clinton and Trump

At the start of the ad, Clinton is portrayed as a good president who has great care for women. She is seen to embrace a young girl, which also implies that she has concerns about the young generation. Contrast to this is Trump who is depicted as abusive to the younger generation. Use of young persons symbolizes the fact that tomorrow belongs to the current generation and thus current choices are critical to consider.

The impact of the ad

The mirror is an ad that is basically one-sided and which aims to reveal Trump's dislike for women. The contrast between his younger and older age does not elicit any difference in his character as portrayed in the ad. The ad would likely touch the heart of the audience and especially parents who had daughters. The other population that would be impacted is the women as a whole, due to the use of girls, and the last touch would be on younger generations reconsidering how Trump's actions show very little attention to the future of children.


Merica, Dan. "New Clinton Ad Shows Girls Looking in Mirror as Trump Insults Women." CNN 17 October 2016. <>.

Vavreck, Lynn. "Ads That Use Candidates’ Own Words, to Powerful Effect." The New York Times 28 October 2016. .

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