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Advertising March 9, 2010. Defining political advertising. 1) ability to control the message 2) use of mass communication channels for message distribution. The Place of Campaign Advertising. Mass media. Mass public. Politicians.

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Advertising March 9, 2010

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AdvertisingMarch 9, 2010


Defining political advertising

1) ability to control the message

2) use of mass communication channels for message distribution


The Place of Campaign Advertising

Mass media

Mass public

Politicians


In some ways, the US and the UK are at opposite ends of the “campaign environment”


Types of Ads

  • Negative, positive, contrast

  • Issue vs. image

  • Humour


Forms of Advertising

  • Television

  • Radio

  • Print


Forms of Advertising

  • Television

  • Radio

  • Print

  • Direct mail


Forms of Advertising

  • Television

  • Radio

  • Print

  • Direct mail

  • Billboards


Recent Billboards in Britain


Classic Billboards in British Elections


Forms of Advertising

  • Television

  • Radio

  • Print

  • Direct mail

  • Billboards

  • Push polling


Forms of Advertising

  • Television

  • Radio

  • Print

  • Direct mail

  • Billboards

  • Push polling

  • Games


Forms of Advertising

  • Television

  • Radio

  • Print

  • Direct mail

  • Billboards

  • Push polling

  • Games


Forms of Advertising

  • Television

  • Radio

  • Print

  • Direct mail

  • Billboards

  • Push polling

  • Games

  • Infomercials


Forms of Advertising

  • Television

  • Radio

  • Print

  • Direct mail

  • Billboards

  • Push polling

  • Games

  • Infomercials

  • Web (ie. Obama Girl)


Forms of Advertising

  • Television

  • Radio

  • Print

  • Direct mail

  • Billboards

  • Push polling

  • Games

  • Infomercials

  • Web


Trends in UK Advertising (PEBs)

Early ads (1959)

Modern ads from 2005 (Labour and Conservative)


Trends in UK Advertising

  • Slicker

  • Shorter

  • More negative

  • More focus on leaders


Landmarks in US Advertising

  • Early elections

  • Eisenhower in 1952 and 1956

  • The Johnson campaign of 1964

  • Morning in America and the Bear in 1984

  • Willie Horton and 1988

  • Soft money and advertising in the 1990s

  • Rats ad (2000)

  • ‘Stand by your ad’ since 2004

  • Ads from 2008, Obama infomerical , Palin


Trends in US Advertising

  • Slicker

  • Shorter

  • More negative


Intended Effects of Ads

  • Learning

    • Candidates’ identities

    • Policy positions

    • Personal and political history

  • Impressions

    • Favorability

    • Traits

    • Electability

  • Agenda setting and priming


What are the Intended Effects of Political Advertising?

  • Persuasion

  • Reinforcement


Intended Effects in UK Elections

  • Backlash effect of negative advertising, especially on non-partisans

  • Stronger impact on Lib Dem support

  • Some effects on party leader images

  • Little impact on party images

  • Limited effects on policy perceptions


Intended Effects in US Elections

  • Learning

    • Candidates’ identities

    • Policy positions

    • Personal and political history


Why Go Negative?


Ad Tone in US Presidential Elections (1960-2000)

More negative

More positive

Source: John Geer (2003)


Unintended Effects of Negative Ads

  • Turnout and negative advertising

WHY MIGHT NEGATIVE ADVERTISING LOWER TURNOUT?

Perception that politicians are unresponsive

Cynicism

Negative ads

Less positive public mood


Unintended Effects of Negative Ads

  • Turnout and negative advertising

WHY MIGHT NEGATIVE ADVERTISING LOWER TURNOUT?

Perception that politicians are unresponsive

Cynicism

Negative ads

Lower turnout

Less positive public mood


Unintended Effects of Negative Ads

  • Turnout and negative advertising

WHY MIGHT NEGATIVE ADVERTISING RAISE TURNOUT?

Information

Anxiety

Negative ads

Stakes


Unintended Effects of Negative Ads

  • Turnout and negative advertising

WHY MIGHT NEGATIVE ADVERTISING RAISE TURNOUT?

Information

Anxiety

Negative ads

Higher turnout

Stakes


Unintended Effects of Ads

  • Perceptions of politics

  • Political behaviour


United Kingdom: Turnout


Decline (and rebound?) in Several Indicators of Political Engagement


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