Political Advertising

Here is one of the earliest political campaign television advertisements.  It is from 1952 and it promotes the candidacy of then-General Dwight D. Eisenhower. Eisenhower’s campaign was the first to effectively use television as a mode of political communication.  What techniques do you see here in the ad that would capture the attention of the voting public?  What techniques are used in campaign ads today to capture the public’s attention?


11 responses to “Political Advertising

  1. The ad initially appeals to the small town voter, displaying Eisenhower’s humble upbringing. In addition, the ad appeals to the fears of voters when it comes to international relations. This is still a tactic used in political ads today.

  2. I think really key points that capture the audience’s attention is that Eisenhower is relatable. He grew up in a small town and lived a life like most of Americans. Another attention getter was the fact that he’s a war hero and knows about war because of this. I also think another point is that he already has established relationships with leaders in Europe because it shows he already kind of has the in as president and is prepared.

  3. The campaigners could see the emergence of television as a powerful and new medium and I just love the old ads.

  4. This ad was probably effective because it emphasized Eisenhower’s war experience at a time when America had a lot of enemies. It was also loud, and the speakers voice really captured my attention. Ads today seem to be draker. They usually play to people’s fears by having haunting music and an announcer with a low, menacing voice. It seems to me that political ads, and campaigns in general, are designed to instill fear in people. Ads such as this one can then present the candidate as the one who can save you from whatever evils they are presenting.

  5. This political ad was very convincing as the ads are still today. It was very simple. It reiterated Eisenhower’s ability to run the country. The ad stated that, he knew how to deal with the Koreans. Which showed his competency in foreign relations. But what was interesting to me was the ad played on the fact that Americans does not want to go to war. He criticized our readiness for war, and at the at the end the ad concluded with VOTE FOR PEACE, VOTE FOR EISENHOWER! Very catchy.
    Today ad campaigns are very similar. For example, President Barak Obama’s campaign focused on this country’s high need for a CHANGE; and we see how well that worked for him and Eisenhower!

  6. Margoth Rodriguez

    The commercial ad appeals to the voting public and the regular public with describing how Eisenhower would be successful in dealing with foreign affairs such as war. Also it is appealing in a sense that it makes him seem like the “boy next door” who understands what the American people need. He use of having an announcer amplify his commercial and having the words pop up on the screen creates a sense that he is important and so is his message.

  7. In this ad Eisenhower appeals to the public by attempting to portay himself as an average American showing a normal looking house popping up out of the United States. Also in this Ad he tries to show he would be good at dealing with the war and many other foreign policies. The video is visually appealing and the narrorators voice is loud and stands out. Todays ads are actually quite similiar accept they are more centered around the actuall politician and his voting policy’s. Also in modern ads candidates will slander their running mate with negative comments and try to potray themselves as the best possible choice.

  8. Eisenhower’s ad shares the same idea as the the saying “if it’s not broke don’t fix it”. its very effective because it reminds the voters of some of his previous accomplishments and then it provides a little comfort to voters who are curious what direction Eisenhower is going to lead the country. I believe that if you were to run a campaign like this in today’s society, it wouldn’t be a bad campaign but i doubt it would win since it mainly reflects and relies on the experience Eisenhower has but it’s not bringing anything new to the table that might sway new voters

  9. Eisenhower’s ad was very convincing. It is simple but yet grabs your attention. It shows how he is no different from you and me. I believe that is what most people look fro when voting , someone they can relate to.

  10. In the ad they focus strongly on the candidates “patriotism” and experience. They want voters to have the piece and mind that if the candidate has their vote they can count on them through a major crisis. Bringing up issues like war or the economy will grab people’s attention because it is something they can all relate to instantly. They use the same techniques in ads today. For example last election we seen it when McCain would speak about his service to our country.

  11. There are obvious appeals to emotions throughout the ad. We are bombarded with photos of our troops trying to appeal to our sense of patriotism. We are fed his “heartland” story and told he comes from “small” circumstances just like us. Fear tactics, “This country is not ready for war.”, make this same emotional appeal. Sadly, this ad worked then, and it would have much of the same effect today of course with some updates and fact changes . People are a slave to their emotions, and ads that make quick grabs at our conscience and appeal to our good nature or fear are usually very effective. Change, he exclaims, is what we need, sound familiar?

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