Evaluating Campaign Ads – Pryor vs. Cotton

In this week’s installment of “Evaluating Campaign Ads”, we’ll take a look at two ads that have been running in Arkansas.  Senator Mark Pryor (D) is up for re-election and his opponent is Congressman Tom Cotton (R).  Both ads shown below are what might be called “negative” or “contrast” ads.

The first ad is from Representative Cotton.

The following ad is from Senator Pryor.

What are your thoughts on these two ads?  What clues do you see that identify these ads as “negative” or “contrast”?



10 responses to “Evaluating Campaign Ads – Pryor vs. Cotton

  1. Instead of making a campaign about the good of themselves, both Cotton and Pryer focused their videos on the other opponent. Cotton called his opponent a hypocrite and Pryer tried to sway votes by targeting older people and accusing his opponent of jeopardizing healthcare for the elderly. Both of the videos have a very negative impact on both candidates because nothing GOOD was said about either of them in either video.

  2. Pryor and Cotton have resorted to cutthroat campaigns because neither one has anything remarkable to mention concerning their own political agenda.
    On the other hand, both deserve credit for running a tactful campaign. Smearing the opponent is a strategy often used by politicians to rally an uneducated audience. An alarming amount of Americans don’t know what’s happening in state or federal government.
    Hopefully, in the near future, political commercials will be further reduced to guttural, troglodytic slogans that never breach monosyllables.
    “He BAD!” (Picture of shifty-eyed opponent standing in front of hammer and sickle backdrop)
    “Me GOOD!” (Picture of candidate holding a baby, grandma, and a bible with an American flag waving in the background)
    You get the gist.

  3. Both videos are shining a negative light on both of their campaigns. Instead of doing something to benefit their own individual campaign, they are just making themselves look childish bashing at each other. If it was me, I wouldn’t vote for either one of them.

  4. Right off the bat you can tell the commercials will be a more negative tone simply from the dark borders and tints used in the video, even before the voice overs go into a bit of detail about their main message. Both are hoping to sway the elderly’s opinion on the other by using something they view as important, in this case medicare and social security.

    On a personal level, neither of these ads would make me more likely to vote for the one of them. I learned nothing about the candidate’s themselves and their viewpoints, just on how they can sling mud at one another and use a lack of context to get whatever message they want across.

  5. On my personal view I thought they did good on the ads on bashing their opponents. They had clear evidence on what each other said about raising the age. I think Cotton did a better job on his video because he is showing his audience what his opponent is lying on. I feel like Pryor should of showed Cotton saying false information to the public on video. I think Cotton would get the most votes out of this because I felt like he had more evidence that his opponent was lying.

  6. Rachel Vaselenko

    I think they bash each other only because they have nothing else that’s good going for them. The ads taught you nothing about them only the other one who’s running. Also, found it very childish considering they are running to be a leader but they cant even follow a good leadership.

  7. These are negative adds because both candidates call out there opponents on a issue they lied about. Both seemed to have lied but they both made adds to make the other guy seem worse. I wouldn’t vote for neither of these guys, none of the adds tell me anything about the candidates. The candidates should focus on themselves and what they are going to change if elected.

  8. Nicholas Sumoski

    In both videos the candidates focused on their opponent instead of themselves. They pointed out what their opponents lied about or what about thier platforms were bad. There was nothing about themselves and their platform, only on how the other person isn’t right for the job.

  9. I believe the first video makes Senator Pryor, look bad because of the way they captured him lying about raising the age of collecting social security. And, Pryor is attacking Cotton, on turning Medicare over to the big insurance companies. Both party’s are neglecting to say how they are better for the position. Which is ultimately, leading to both party’s focusing on negative publicity.

  10. I’ve never really liked the times of years when all these champaign ads start coming on. They are so negative about each other abs are attacking one another. It makes me really not to vote for any one of them.

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