July 23, 2012
2012 Presidential Campaign Ad Analysis
The purpose of all ads, regardless of their content is to sell something to the reader. Whether it is a billboard for a Hollywood blockbuster, or an antismoking ad on the back of a buss, they both are meant to make the reader want to buy a product or an idea. In the cause of the billboard the product is a ticket to the movie, while the item being sold by the antismoking ad is the idea that smoking is unhealthy. Political ads are no different; they are also created to sell a product or an idea. Their product is the candidate they want to win, while the idea is that candidate is the right choice or his opponent is the wrong choice. This is most noticeable during election years when many competing groups are trying to sell their favorite candidate to the public. Political ads come in two varieties; there are the negative campaign ads and positive ads. The former’s is usually funded by people or groups that disagree with a candidate’s policy. Their ads will remind the people of events and choices the candidate was involved in that had unfavorable or unpopular endings. Positive ads are funded by organizations that want the candidate they are advertising to win. These ads will display events from the candidate’s paste that make him seem like a morally upright person and an effective leader. Take a look at figure1. It is a campaign ad against Mitt Romney. The first thing a reader will see is the bold white words in the middle of the ad. The words are referring to Mitt Romney’s fiscal policy in which he plans to continue the Bush Era tax cuts. In addition the second stanza of this ad may be alluding to decisions Romney took part in during his tenor at Bain Capital, in which thousands of employees were laid off after he acquired their company. Here the ad creators have turned Romney’s greatest strength, his business experience into a weakness by emphasizing his failure. The reader’s eyes will...
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