Home > B2, Learning > Campaign Commercials: Friends or Foes?

Campaign Commercials: Friends or Foes?

The social media in our society has become so large that virtually everyone who will vote for the Presidential election owns and watches a TV.  Therefore, campaign ads play a pivotal role in modern political races today because of how many people across the United States watch TV and are influenced by what they see and read throughout the different means of social media.  We studied many different types of campaign ads including ones of emotion, persuasion, factual claims, and cinematic style.  Also within each of these 4 categories there are positive and negative ads.  The positive ads attempt to influence a general audience by using positive themes in support of the candidate and also expressing what the candidate will do to better the country.  On the other hand, negative themes tend to bash other candidates by trying to exploit their mistakes in the past or by stating what the current President of the United States is doing wrong.

An example of an almost perfect campaign ad that we studied is the “Yes We Can” ad for Barack Obama’s 2008 Presidential campaign.  This is a positive ad that is nearly perfect because of how it specifically targets a social media generation meaning the youth across America. It specifically targets young people by depicting celebrities that young adults know and can connect to in the ad. The ad uses emotion and cinematic style with the theme of hope and change to try and persuade the targeted audience, or young voters, to come out and vote for Obama for President. Lastly, it also uses music to connect with the young voters across America, trying to relate and motivate them to come out and vote for Obama for President.

Although there are many positive ads by candidates when running for presidency, we also studied the negative campaign ads that bash the other candidates and or the current President.  Candidates will do anything to get the upper hand on the Presidency race with negative campaign ads that air on social media networks.  In our studies of Campaign ads, we debated whether these negative adds truly hurt the candidate that is being bashed or if they backfire, hurting the candidate allowing the ad to air.  Ultimately, it goes both ways.  The youth across America can be highly influenced by what is aired on social media outlets, therefore negative campaigning can be persuasive and very effective with the youth across America.  On the other hand, older and wiser citizens of the United States tend to see right through these negative ads making them think lesser of the candidate airing them.  This particular negative ad is an ad on Newt Gingrich supported by Ron Paul.  This particular negative ad is a very well put together ad because of the way it persuades to make the audience question the ethical behavior of Newt Gingrich.  The ad will tend to anger many Americans as it emphasizes how Newt Gingrich used his political influence to increase his net worth.  Interestingly enough the audience doesn’t even realize until the end that this ad is ultimately an ad for Ron Paul.

Are campaign ads friends or foes? Ultimately, they can be both.  Throughout our studies of Campaign ads, in my opinion, I personally believe that Campaign ads on social media outlets are very important aspect to the Presidential election and can be very influential in this day and era.  In today’s world almost all Americans rely on social media as one of their main sources for information and are truly influenced by what they see and read on these various outlets.  If a campaign ad contains the critical qualities of emotion, persuasion, factual claims, and cinematic style then they will be believable, whether positive or negative.

  1. May 2, 2012 at 1:13 pm


    I like the ideas that you went in depth about. The campaign adds in relation to the youth is an interesting take on the ads. I do think that you could use one more credible source to add a little depth to the point. You do need to delete the repetation of your title, but the ideas and photos add a lot to your post.

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