Political Advertisements

Political Advertisements

One would have to have hidden under a rather large rock so not to be inundated with political messages from your television, radio, and Internet during the last presidential election! Increasingly, candidates at all levels of the political spectrum use media to craft their message to potential voters. The importance of media in the political realm cannot be underestimated.

In today’s ‘Information Age’ the American public have unparalleled access to political information. Thirty years ago many Americans read their daily newspaper, listened to their local radio stations, and watched the national news with Walter Cronkite. Today, thanks to the Internet, the 24-7 cable news station, and the proliferation of radio stations, Americans have a more varied access to mass media. The diffusion of mass media allows Americans of a particular, political bent, access to their niche, political media.

Directions: Select one political advertisement from a recent, congressional or presidential election.

  • Provide a brief summary of the political advertisement.
    • What type of media is the advertisement?
    • How was this advertisement disseminated?
    • What was the message?
  • If possible:
    • How expensive was this advertisement campaign?
    • Who paid for these advertisements?
  • Analyze the content and purpose of the advertisement.
    • What is the target audience/demographic?
    • What is the argument?
    • Was the advertisement effective or ineffective?
    • Overall, does this advertisement help or hinder the political process?
  • Provide a link for the advertisement.

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