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Monday, March 24, 2008

AP Government -Media Project


1. Television was a new medium for presidential candidates in 1952. In your opinion, who used this medium to better advantage—Eisenhower or Stevenson? Explain your answer, using details from the spots.


Eisenhower used it much better. He aired his ads when more of America was likely to watch and kept his message short and to the point. Which is perfect for the attention span of America. Stevenson aired his late at night and his speeches were long and then still longer than his allotted time.


2. What concerns does a candidate face when presenting himself in a television ad that might not exist in other campaign situations?


He has to make sure he looks presentable to the point of perfection. Radio ads don't require you to look nice and when giving speeches in person the audience won't be seeing you up close. On TV all of America has a front row seat. Any mistake he makes during a televised speeches will also be heard for everyone to hear and maybe even played back over and over.


3. What kind of effect does TV advertising have on the American political process, voter opinion, and election results?


TV advertising brings the political election into the homes of America and advertises the candidates and their stances. It can both help and hurt the candidates of any given race depending on how they use their time. If you do it right you can raise your chances of being elected and increase the amount of public votes or you can ruin yourself and waste campaign money by doing what Stevenson did and not thinking about when you were airing your program.


4. Select two ads from either 1952 or 1956, and two ads from 1980 or later. Describe the difference in television of both eras, and how they are reflected in the candidate's presentations. What differences do you notice in the production choices, style, and overall effect of the commercials? What do these changes suggest about how the medium itself has evolved?


In 1952 the commercials were fun and advertised the beliefs of the candidate who sponsored them. One of the ads by Eisenhower was a cartoon with a very catchy song that left me wanting to vote for him and another was one of his many "Eisenhower answers America" in which he answers a question asked by 'a common American'

In 1988 it was Bush versus Dukakis (who has a funny name). Bush aired two commercials both of which spoke about bad choices of Dukakis and the mistakes he made. He did nothing during his governor term to help with the pollution of the Boston harbor and he decided to give prisoners weekend passes from prison during which one prisoner escaped, kidnapped a couple, killed the man, and raped the woman. Smart moves on his part.


5. The Internet today offers new challenges for presidential candidates. In your opinion, what are the advantages and disadvantages for presidential candidates in using this new medium? How has the Internet changed the nature of the American political process, voter opinion, and election results?


Advantages of using the internet is that they can get their ads across to America at a lower cost and to a broader audience since nearly everyone uses the internet in this day and age. Disadvantages are that it is so much easier for America to come across and have full on discussions about the follies of the candidates as well. Gossip is spread in a snap.


Project: Examine the 2008 Presidential race to gain an understanding of how television ads and Internet ads reflect and address the concerns of the voting public. What issues do you think are the most important to voters? Why did you choose these issues? Remember that political commercials are designed to respond to voters' concerns.


1. From viewing several ads, either from television or the Internet, what do you think Americans' main domestic and international concerns are at this time? How do the ads address these concerns?




2. Describe the specific criticisms of Clinton, Obama, and McCain the ads you viewed address. Do the candidates provide evidence to back up their claims? If so, what is it and are you persuaded?

3. How effective are negative ads? Do you think such ads help a candidate in an election? Or are voter's repelled by such negative tactics? Explain your answer.


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