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Bringing the Campaign to the Home

April 20, 2012 3 comments

Since the 1950s, campaign commercials have played a vital role in the Presidential election process and the role commercials play has grown increasingly more important in our media-centered world. With the majority of Americans watching tv, Facebooking, Tweeting, or blogging, the only significant way to reach voters is through technology and media. Campaign commercials make a political statement and attempt to grab viewer attention through style and technique while having an impact on the American society.

Campaign commercials first began in 1952 when President Eisenhower began running his ads in between popular television shows such as “I Love Lucy” and since then, addressing voters through the media has become the primary technique. I think this is incredibly important seeing as the young voters are online or watching TV for hours during the day. Nominees can gain a significant amount of young voters if they use technology to promote themselves. The commercials also have a great effect on stay-at-home mothers who might have the TV on at various points throughout the day. By creating ads, campaigners can reach out to women and mothers and secure their votes as well as the younger generation votes. The idea of using a campaign commercial reaches out to a wide variety of voters and not just a select group, which hopefully aids a nominee throughout the election process.

The style that the ads take either attract or turn away viewers. As we noted during our campaign commercial class work, there are different techniques applied to each ad. Some are attack ads and portray opponents in a very poor light, some use pictures and visuals, some have a soundtrack, some contain facts, and some use emotion. Each ad is different in it’s own way because it applies to that specific nominees campaign and style. The ads vary on the drama scale as well. The attack ads are full of drama and shocking claims or scandalous pictures that viewers either like or dislike. Most ads are hit or miss though. The style of the ad either keeps the viewer on the channel or makes them pick up the remote.

The campaign ads have a serious impact on the public. The more heated the ads get, the more heated the campaigns do. Rivalries intensify and the ads become more and more aggressive throughout the campaign, often causing politicians to be seen negatively by the public. One question I had while working in class was: if the ads are so aggressive and so disliked by the public, do they really work? It seems to vary from person to person but I found myself not liking the ads that were filled with booming narrators and attacks against fellow campaigners. It became too petty and dramatic, far too much like high school in my opinion. But the better the ads, the better impact they’ll have on society. A good, strong ad might be talked about on Fox or CNN, propelling voters to go watch the ad and think about the candidate differently. Campaign ads have a strong influence on the American public.

Americans love their TV and they love their politics. What better way to combine the two than run a political notice on TV? Since 1952, campaign commercials have forever altered the way a campaign is run and how political self-advertisement is managed. Our daily work in class on campaign commercials made me realize the importance and influence ads have on voters and how ads are crucial to campaigners. It’s no wonder that so much money goes into the advertisement industry. You have to have a winning ad in order to win the people.

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