Tag Archives: Political Communication

Using Images In A Political Campaign

Political imagery is important in a campaign. Whether it is overt or subtle, candidates and their advisors understand that campaigns are emotional ventures and that voters respond to images even more so than the substance of a campaign. Messages are created to capture a voter’s attention. What images do you see consistently in political campaigns?  What do you believe is the purpose of using those images that you have seen?

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Do Testimonial Ads Matter To You?

Here is a testimonial ad from the Frank Rizzo campaign for Mayor in 1987.  Rizzo was the former mayor of Philadelphia and this was his comeback campaign.  Rizzo lost to incumbent W. Wilson Goode in this election.

Do testimonial ads make a difference to you when you cast your vote on Election Day?  Why are testimonial ads used?

What’s In A Commercial? Everything!

The Republican Party during the 2012 campaign season suffered from a gender gap problem.  That is, the differences between men and women in their views regarding the Republicans and their candidates were so great that many women who turned away from the Republican Party and voted for Democratic candidates became the deciding factor in many national and state races.  Exit polls show that nationally Democrats did well with females on the whole, but also with single women at the polls.  Republicans tended to do well with married women, but mostly with white men on Election Day.  However, female voters make up a majority of the voting population, and single women put Democrats over the top in many elections.  For instance, single women helped President Obama defeat Mitt Romney.

There aren’t any exit polls available regarding the United States Senate race in Texas between Ted Cruz (R) and Paul Sadler (D) and how women voted in that election.  Pollsters tend to conduct Election Day surveys on races that they consider to be competitive or worthwhile.  Many did not think that Sadler had a chance in this race, as Texas is a Republican state that leans conservative on many economic and social  issues.  Therefore, pollsters just skipped this race.

Judging by this commercial, however, Cruz was not taking some votes for granted.

Based on the visual content of this commercial, do you think Cruz knew that the Republican Party had a gender gap problem?  Do you believe that the Republican Party has a gender gap issue?

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?

Watching the Debates

Political Imagery

Tim Pawlenty on the Stump in 2011

Tim Pawlenty campaigns for President in Iowa: August 2011.

Bruce Mann, husband of US Senate Candidate Elizabeth Warren

Photo of Bruce Mann, husband of US Senate Candidate Elizabeth Warren

Political imagery is important in a campaign. Whether it is overt or subtle, political campaigns understand that campaigns are emotional ventures and that voters respond to images even more so than the substance of a campaign. Above are two photos from recent political campaigns. The first is a photo of former Minnesota Governor, Tim Pawlenty, at an Iowa campaign event in 2011. Pawlenty, a Republican, campaigned for President in 2011, but dropped from the race after a poor showing at the Iowa Straw Poll in August of that year. The second photo is not of a candidate, but of a candidate’s husband. Bruce Mann is the spouse of US Senate candidate, Elizabeth Warren. Warren, a Massachusetts Democrat, has had difficulty in connecting with voters during her campaign. In both photos, there are messages sent out to capture a voter’s attention. What images do you see?