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Political advertising

Political advertising. The dominant form of candidate communication with the electorate. Political advertising. “Televised political advertising is now the dominant form of communication between candidates and voters in the presidential elections and in most statewide contests”

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Political advertising

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  1. Political advertising The dominant form of candidate communication with the electorate

  2. Political advertising • “Televised political advertising is now the dominant form of communication between candidates and voters in the presidential elections and in most statewide contests” • Kaid, “Political advertising”

  3. Eisenhower Answers America http://www.ciadvertising.org/student_account/fall_00/adv382j/derrellwilson/p2/politics.html

  4. Undecideds • The ‘swing vote’ in elections is made up largely of those persons who are relatively ill-informed, have a less-developed ideology and are swayed by late events, advertising and non-policy news • They often decide the elections, though, and are a major target of candidates • Going negative can work here

  5. Content of political advertising • Close analysis of the actual content of political advertising has been rather limited • Relatively recent area of study • Focused heavily on the presidential campaign • Availability of historic advertising • Most money, most sophisticated advertising • Popular and scholarly focus on presidential contest

  6. Issues v. images • Most advertising focuses on issues rather than image • 78% of 2000 presidential campaign ads (historic high) • However, “the percentage of spots with specific policy issue information was much lower than the overall number of issue spots” • Vague, general statements • Claims without context (often misleading or even false) • Researchers have come to conclude that the two are intertwined and inseparable

  7. Issues

  8. 2004 Issue Mentions (source: Kaid)

  9. Kaid: “The Television Advertising Battleground in the 2004 Preseidential Election”

  10. 2004 Candidate character mentions (source: Kaid)

  11. Negative v. positive • There has been a significant increase in negativity over the last 30 years

  12. Positive v. Negative • Challengers are more likely to engage in negative advertising, while incumbents tend to be positive • Challenger criticizing record, incumbent defending it • Attack ads are more common in competitive races • Most races against incumbents are long shots • Negative ads are more likely to be sponsored by parties or advocacy groups • Negative ads have more substantive issue information

  13. Positive v. negative • Positive ads tend to focus on the present or future • Negative ads tend to focus on the past and express anger

  14. 2000 [all] elections(Wisconsin Ad Project)

  15. Overall appeals

  16. Ad themes 2004 (source: Kaid)

  17. http://pcl.stanford.edu/campaigns/2008/ • http://www.livingroomcandidate.org/

  18. Attack ads 2004 (source: Kaid)

  19. Goldstein, “Lessons learned”

  20. Emotion • Commonly seen by professionals as the most important and effective appeal • People are not persuaded/moved by rational appeals • Most political commercial use some form of emotional appeal

  21. Emotion • The majority of political advertising relates in some way to emotion • Tony Schwartz • Frank Luntz • What types of emotion are most often used? • Fear • Pride • Especially national pride • Hope • Love • Family

  22. Appeals in presidential campaign advertising

  23. Verbal content 2004

  24. Emotion and cultural symbols • Common use of non-rational appeals • Clearly a successful strategy • Spots contain an enormous amount of emotional content • “more emotional proof than logical or ethical proof” • According to Hart “one must never underestimate the importance of that which advertising most reliably delivers—political emotion”

  25. Emotional appeals • “Winners use more words indicating activity and optimism than losers. Losers, alternately, demonstrated less certainty but higher realism in their spots.” • Ballotti & Kaid, 2000

  26. http://pcl.stanford.edu/campaigns/2008/ • http://www.livingroomcandidate.org/

  27. Incumbent strategies

  28. Challenger strategies

  29. Types of ads • Diamond and Bates: • ID spots • Argument spots • Candidate causes, ideas, concerns • Attack spots • Visionary spots

  30. Types of commercials • Devlin • Talking heads • Negative spots • Cinema verite • Documentary spots • Man-in-the street spots • Testimonials • Independent spots • Joslyn: “Benevolent leader” spots

  31. Nonverbal content

  32. Production techniques

  33. Female candidates • Female candidates tend to focus more on issues than men do, and to emphasize domestic issues • May be more due to greater number of Democrats who are women than to gender

  34. http://www.rbistrategies.com/content/37/rbi-strategies-and-research-winspollierdquo-awardshttp://www.rbistrategies.com/content/37/rbi-strategies-and-research-winspollierdquo-awards • http://pcl.stanford.edu/campaigns/2008/ • http://www.livingroomcandidate.org/

  35. http://www.pbs.org/newshour/vote2008/reportersblog/campaign_ads/http://www.pbs.org/newshour/vote2008/reportersblog/campaign_ads/

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