Analyzing Election Advertising - Public
(To be completed as a class)
The 2008 election is clearly about change. Polls indicate that approximately 80 percent of likely voters feel that the country is on the wrong track or moving in the wrong direction. For the first time since 1952, there are no candidates on either major-party ticket who have served as president or vice president. The election will result in either the first African American president or the first woman vice president.
As in 2004, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are still major issues, yet foreign policy has been overshadowed by the slumping economy, along with such concerns as health-care costs, energy policy, gas prices, and rising unemployment. From the primary campaigns into the general-election contest, candidates have been positioning themselves as agents of change. Normally it is the party out of power in the White House that calls for change. This year, both parties claim to offer “change,” as opposed to “more of the same.”
The candidates are making these claims in an ad war that is unprecedented in its quantity and cost. Ads are being created in rapid-response fashion, timed for the increasingly fast-paced news cycle. Also, as a reflection of the shift in popular culture toward the provocative tone of the Internet, which relies on bold statements and humor to inspire “forwardability,” the style of this year’s ads is noticeably sharper and more aggressive than that of previous elections.
Watch the following videos and answer the following questions: