The Beginning of Politcal Televison Advertisements

While all political advertisements are interesting and have a plethora of information that could analyzed, I believe that in order to get some sort of understanding of where this entire phenomenon has come from looking at one of the older advertisements available and compare it to one of the newer ones. In order to keep it somewhat scientific, I will compare two from the same party.

Adlai Stevenson by Warren Leffer 

Using the living room candidate website, I first looked at the election of 1952 and the campaign ran by Adlai Stevenson against Dwight Eisenhower. With his advertisement “I Love the Gov” we see a very interesting strategy being used by Stevenson. In what seems to be only one shot, a young women lays down a catchy tune about how Adlai has been successful in the state of Illinois and will translate that success to the rest of the union. What strikes me as most interesting s there is mudslinging going on even in the early age of TV political ads. Everyone today knows that ethics in campaigns runs on a very fine line but even for someone like me who may be a little too confident in his understanding of mid-20th century politics, this struck me as a shocking inclusion in the advertisement. While this ad may have blown my mind, it certainly did not do much to sway over public opinion as Eisenhower destroyed Stevenson 442-89.


In comparison I looked at the 2012 Barrack Obama video “47 percent”. This mudslinging advertisement is distinctly the benefactor of improved technology but regardless of that fact it holds a much somber tone then anything Stevenson ran. Obama’s campaign utilized several people of several different ethnic backgrounds, ages and sexes. The use of a diverse populace allows the viewer to think that supporters of Obama are from all walks of humanity. This is a clear strategy by the campaign as Democrat’s typically corner the market when it comes voters from different races. Overall, I find it fascinating how TV advertisements have become a giant tool in how a candidacy is ran and can be a defining part of any candidates run towards the white house.




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