Political Campaign Advertising

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Since 1952, television has played a major role in presidential elections. Television allows candidates to reach a broad number of people, and personalities, to help push along their campaigns. Campaigns help the candidates just as much as the voters. The candidates get to be identified, and known to the voters, and the voters get to hear and see how a specific candidate identifies with their needs and wants. The best way to get this information out there is through the most used form of media, television.

When candidates develop a plan of attack for campaign advertising, they tend to aim for at least four types of commercials. One form or type of commercial is those which play on the fears of countrymen. Fear is a good emotion to play on, if your opponent is "unknown or untested" nationally. Instill in fear of the opponent is a good way to gain the upper hand in an election, because if people don't feel their president can make safe and smart decision, nine times out of ten they will not want that person in office. In the past the "fear" factor, made people think what if? And in return they start to second guess who they want in office.

In the election of 2004, the bush campaign ran an advertisement; whose focus was to act on the fear of Americans. The bush campaign ran an ad titled "Finish It" (1). This ad showed that the war in Iraq was necessary, and needed, and if John Kerry was elected to office the harmful acts against America would go unpunished. I didn't particular like this ad, but I think the message was clear and a lot of Americans identified with this ad. The impact of this ad, caused myself and many others to think, that if we elect a new president in war time, what would happen to the people in Iraq, and more importantly what would happen to the troops.

Another type of commercial that campaigns look to run is the "real people" ad, or the ads that show the candidate to be "just like everyone else". These ads are used to connect with the...
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