Posts Tagged ‘Campaign Ads’

Blog 3: Change in political campaigns

February 21, 2011 1 comment

Political campaigns have most certainly changed since the Nixon campaign in 1968. During Nixon’s campaign, Henry Treleaven became adamant with the idea that image on television is what would make the difference for Nixon to finally pull through with a presidential win.

 Nixon’s strategy was to air still photographs in his commercials, which would prevent people from paying too much attention to Nixon’s voice. This allowed Treleaven to create an ‘image’ of Nixon, by letting the images create the impression (something new and fresh during this period of time). As an example, Eugene Jones was a documentary filmmaker who created Nixon’s commercials from still photographs and enticing music.

 This commerical (as seen on was aired 8 days before election day. It gave the impression that Herbert Humphrey was laughing at dying soldiers in Vietnam, making this commercial a controversial and risky statement so close to the election. In a way, this was an early form of ‘attack’ media commercials, an idea that is so familiar to us in today’s time.

Political campaigns have stayed all the way to our modern times in the way that presidential candidates still strive to create an ‘image’ of themselves that will leave a lasting impression on the American people. In 2008, Republican John McCain posed a familiar commercial. Similiar to the previous Nixon commercial, McCain uses images, classical music, and a short narration to create an image for himself.

Although there are some similarities between the campaign of 1968 and modern times, there are also a vast amount of differences. With the advancement of technology, presidential candidates can afford to continuously “attack” the opposing side in their campaign commercials. As seen in the 2008p residential campaign, the majority of the candidates commercials seemed to be more focused on showing what the opposing side could not do, rather than broadcasting to the public what the individual candidates themselves would be able to do.

For example, McCain’s attack on Obama

 and Obama’s attack on McCain:

Another difference, is that in the Nixon campaign, Nixon never held an ‘official’ debate with Humphrey. Instead, Nixon held a telecast where a 6-member panel asked questions directed towards Nixon’s policies that were supposed to shed light on his campaign.This allowed Nixon to formulate answers to questions he already knew were going to be asked. However, today’s campaigns deal with several face-to-face (and what could even be called cut-throat) debates between both the presidential candidates and both the vice-presidential candidates.


Blog 3: Political Campaigns

February 21, 2011 1 comment

Political campaigns have very much changed since Nixon’s 1960 campaign. Just as we read about, Nixon’s 1960 and 1968 campaign were different, with the 1968 campaign trying to “package and sell” him as a person/president. In the 1968 campaign Nixon wanted to make himself more personable, and also refused to do a debate, since the debates ruined him last time. This 1968 campaign was all about selling Nixon as a person, and put him in controlled situations only. The website The Living Room Candidate provides a very good example of  how presidential campaigns have changed over the years. It is an archive of campaign commercials, debates, advertisements, and election results. In this website it is obvious, starting with Lyndon B. Johnson’s re-election campaign of 1964, that this is when candidates started “attacking” each other, rather than just focus on themselves and what they have to offer. This has really been evident in the past couple of campaigns. It seems as if candidates only talk about their opponent in their advertisement. Candidates also seem to strive to highlight anything wrong that their opponent did in the past.

Lyndon B. Johnson ran a very controversial ad during his 1964 campaign called the “Daisy Girl” ad. In this ad it shows a little girl peacefully picking at a flower. All of a sudden, she is seemingly blown up by a nuclear explosion. Johnson’s message in this ad is that if Goldwater was elected, this is something that could happen, and wanted to instate a fear in America that Goldwater would start a nuclear war if elected president. This ad only ran once because it was so controversial but is a good example of the beginning of the new campaign strategy of candidates attacking each others faults.

Political campaigns have stayed the same in that each party is constantly working to elect their candidate.There is still the big spectacle of party conventions. They have also stayed the same in that some advertisements will only focus on the candidate and what their accomplishments are, however this is very rare. I think they have also stayed the same in that the candidate always has his core campaign advisers helping him along the way. There are also debates nowadays, except for the exception of Johnson and Nixon declining debates during each of their respective campaigns.

blog 8

October 25, 2010 Leave a comment

For this blog I chose an advertisement that talked about Robin Carnahan. It was approved by Roy Blunt and did not talk well about Carnahan. The ad calls her actions phony and misleading. It talks about how she will say anything. The advertisement says she rubber stamps the Obama Agenda. I was not familiar with the term rubber stamping but according to Websters New World Dictionary, it means to approve or endorse in a routine manner, without thought – *rubber stamp – 2. [Colloq.] a) a person, bureau, legislature, etc., that approves or endorses something in a routine manner, without thought, b) any routine approval.” In this context it is saying that Robin Carnahan rubber stamps Obama’s policies and bills. She might not have much power but she wants to make the current president happy so she endorses what he endorses. The ad mentions the “disastrous stimulus plan,” government-run health care, and new energy tax. It shows all three of these things in a negative light. It shows Obama in a negative light because these are things being done while he is in office. The ad makes a correlation with Obama’s bad decisions as a democrat and the fact that Carnahan is too a democrat. The ad is getting viewers to compare Obama’s negative choices with Carnahan’s future choices.

The main message given by this advertisement is that Carnahan has not made good decisions in the past and will not in the future. The current administration is not acting appropriately and instead they are making negative decisions. If Carnahan gets elected into office these negative decisions and outcomes will continue. Since the advertisement is approved by Blunt there is an underlying message that he will do better if he were in office and that people should consider him instead.

The intended audience is voters and people who pay attention to politics. It also might appeal to republicans because it is bashing Carnahan, a democrat.

I believe that this commercial is effective. People are worried about the current administration and that shows because Obama’s approval rate has dropped since he’s been in office. This happens for a number of different reasons as we talked about in class but it still shows that many people are not happy with the way things are going. Even if people do not pay attention to the current administration it is still effective. It puts the notion in their mind that things are not going well and there needs to be a change. A change meaning there needs to be a republican elected as the Missouri Senator. The ad does a good job at making negative correlations between Obama and Carnahan without looking like a low, mud-slinging commercial.

The commercial I used for blog #2 was an advertisement for Carnahan talking poorly about Roy Blunt. The ads both talked about negative previous decisions. In blog #2 the commercial does not make correlations between the current political administration because there is not a republican in office. It also talks about different issues than the ad I used in this blog. The ad bashing Carnahan talks about issues such as the health care plan, the stimulus plan and energy tax. The ad bashing Blunt talks about big oil companies, clean energy and new jobs. The ads differ because it talks about Blunt saying no to things and Carnahan saying yes to things. The Blunt ad that Carnahan approved starts out happy and it looks like it is going to praise a certain candidate. Instead it takes a turn and starts attacking Blunt. In the Carnahan ad that Blunt approved, the ad starts attacking Carnahan right away.

Overall this ad differs from the ad I used in blog #2. They are alike in the fact that they both attack an opposing candidate but they attack in different ways. I believe the ad is effective in many ways.

Blog 8: Carnahan/Blunt Take 2

October 25, 2010 Leave a comment

This political ad came from the Roy Blunt campaign and plays on the “Rubber Stamp Robin”  name that has become so common throughout this campaign.  The ad portrays Carnahan as na Obama puppet. He knows that she will “rubber stamp” his agenda.  The final word you are left with is a quote:

“Roy Blunt, he’ll work for Missouri. Not Barack Obama”

The intended audience here I think is anti Blunt person.  He is trying to get as many people on his side as he can and with the slew of attack ads she is running on him  I would say that the fight for votes is pretty much even.  The main goal of the message is to convince the viewers that Robin Carnahan’s agenda lies with President Obama and his agenda, not what is truly right for Missouri.  She is shown as supporting big government and a new energy tax as well as not doing much to improve unemployment.  If I were to base my opinion of the candidates based solely on this ad I would defiantly vote for Roy Blunt.  I think that the ad was very well done and did its job well.

This ad was different from my first ad mainly because this was an attack on Carnahan by Blunt and the ad for Blog 2 was an attack on Blunt by Carnahan.  I do however feel like this ad was much better done than the first ad I looked at and really conveyed its message well.

BLOG 8: Political Advertisement

October 25, 2010 Leave a comment

For this Blog I decided to watch and analyze a Robin Carnahan television advertisement.

Her ad “Culture” is a very simple ad which has very little flashy graphics. It focuses simply on Carnahan and her words. There is very little to distract from the Carnahan’s image, her words, and her platform. The simple format is meant to attract the everyday average man. Her simple look and simple words are meant to not only attract the “average Joe” to the ad so they will watch it but also to get her message across. She is trying to show her audience that she is one of them. She is a just Missourian (on a farm no less) trying to make a change.

While her main message relies on her look and simple down to earth appearance with horses behind her, her words and platform are also other messages she is trying to get out. She discusses her platform ideas and experience by saying she has “gotten a lot of people their money back”. Not only is she telling her audience that once again she is working for the average everyday Missourian but she is also showing her experience. She is putting double meaning into her messages. She is also doing this by using the words “we” and “our” throughout the ad to connect.

As a political ad this ad is slightly effective. It is very effective in her efforts to show the Missourian public that she is an “average” person who is working for the “average Joe”. However, as a political ad to show her audience her views, platform, and experience it is not as effective as many political ads. However, I do not believe that Carnahan is aiming to promote her political views bur instead her character and standing with her audience.

This ad is very different from the ad which I analyzed for Blog 2. That ad was an attack ad by Roy Blunt on Robin Carnahan. For that blog I focused mainly on the attack strategies of Roy Blunt. The analysis of Blunt’s ad for Blog 2 was very short and had very little depth. This ad focuses on Robin Carnahan and her character and personality. This blog entry is a much more in-depth analysis about Carnahan’s attended message, audience, and effectiveness.


Blog 8: Holy Batman, Rubber Stamp Robin!

October 25, 2010 Leave a comment


I found this ad on Roy Blunt’s YouTube page.  It was rather buried, they are not on the main page you have to look through the entire library to find them, but they are by far the most entertaining in my opinion.  I honestly thought that Missouri political ads were better than this, but I guess not.

What isn’t going on in this ad.  Robin Carnahan as Robin from Batman and Harry Reid is playing Batman.  I guess they couldn’t come up with a super villain evil enough for Nancy Pelosi. In this episode Rubber Stamp Robin is helping Batman push health care reform through the House with the help of Nancy Pelosi, almost like guilt by association.  My favorite line:

Holy Medicare cuts Batman and Nancy! You crammed that bill right down their throats!

I don’t think that these ads have aired on television as entertaining as these are.  I think if these were to air on television I think that they might gain national attention.  I could see SNL bring back the Ambiguously Gay Duo for this one!

I’m not sure if Blunt is trying to target children with this ad, but maybe a younger generation who surfs the web more than they watch television.

The main message of this ad is that Robin Carnahan will rubber stamp the Obama and Pelosi agenda if elected.  Another message in this ad is the health care issue.  Showing that Carnahan was pro health care and everything that Pelosi and Obama.

Is the ad effective? To an extent yes I think so.  It definitely grabs your attention, whether it is for the right reasons or not is up for debate.

This ad is very different from Blog 2.  Not only was the first a Robin Carnahan ad, but that was a serious ad about health care.


If you want to watch the next episode of the adventures of Rubber Stamp Robin here it is.

Blog 5: Carnahan/Blunt News article

October 6, 2010 Leave a comment

In this article from the St. Louis Post Dispatch I read about Robin Carnahan and her backing from the Fraternal Order of Police and the International Association of Firefighters.    This article frames Carnahan as a fighter for the people, as a protector from layoffs.  The most prominent issue is the backers of the candidates “both Blunt and Carnahan have also been busy announcing the support of various special interest groups.”  A second issue of serious examination in this article is funding for federal resources for police and firefighters and “federal resources for police and firefighters, and also for a nationwide “interoperability” communications system that allows first responders to communicate with each other.”  Carnahan states that congress would simply have to “find it from somewhere”    Doesn’t sound like she has too much of a real plan to get the funding this project needs.