This week, our topic of discussion was political advertising. Every election year, it seems that we are hit with more and more ads on our TV screens, and this year is no different. Television has become the primary medium for political information, therefore expenditures on televised ads are at an all-time high. You can’t turn on your TV without seeing an ad sponsored by Trump or Clinton, and most of these ads are extremely negative in tone.
Our first reading, “Effects of Negative Political Advertising and Message Repetition on Candidate Evaluation,” was a very interesting article. The author, Juliana Fernandes, evaluates the effect that repetition of negative ads have on candidates and their campaigns. Many candidates choose to run ads that display their opponents in a negative light, in hopes of making themselves seem like the better choice. According to the article, these ads can be beneficial to the campaign, but you also run the risk of helping your opponent with too much repetition.
Obviously, Trump and Clinton did not get this memo. As I stated before, each of our current candidates have numerous ads where they point fingers at their opponent. Clinton harps on Trump’s past actions, and Trump does the same for Clinton. It’s like a never ending cycle, and I think many Americans are just ready for it to be over.
In our second reading, “The Visual Image and the Political Image: A Review of Visual Communication Research in the Field of Political Communication,” the author discusses the importance of visual symbols in political communication. With television being the most important communication channel for political affairs, it is imperative that candidates understand how visuals can affect their campaigns. The author of this article, Dan Schill, discusses ten different functions of visuals in politics, including agenda setting, image-building, and more.
Overall, I enjoyed the readings from this week. I thought they were very interesting and informative, and they were very relevant to what we are seeing with our current presidential candidates. Below, I included the links to one of Trump’s negative ads toward Clinton, and one of Clinton’s negative ads about Trump.