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College Essay on Persuasive Political Advertising



Marketers and the corporate world but also by politicians have not only used the persuasiveness of advertisements during their campaigns positively affecting the voter turnout in their favor. Politicians use news media sources as well as public opinion polling to shape their campaigns persuasiveness. One example of persuasive advertisement in politics is to ignore many members of the public. This leads to a focus on selected few who are major parts as well as the most influential creating an outcry so loud as to reach to the maximum number of people. Politicians and other interest groups target individuals through direct-broadcast satellites, direct mail, and downsizing their appearances in television programs.


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Voter turnout depends on the personality and agenda of the candidates and how would they come to know of the agendas and the personalities. This is where advertising comes in. Through this the candidates persuade, convince and make people aware of the future inspirations of the candidates. Lets not talk about TV and personal appearances, even there is a high degree of political activism/voter turnout in the online population of Web. Statistics indicate 65% of Web users vote, versus under 50% of the U.S. population, and stats that indicate that 95% of PC users vote versus 65% of the U.S. population.

But there is a major drop out in the proportion of the population casting a vote and has elicited concerns from pundits, reporters, and scholars. It has been believed by majority that a vote makes a difference in the eventual outcome of a race, a drop in the public's sense that balloting is a civic obligation, and a decline in the view that voting, regardless of effect on outcome, is a valued form of ideological expression. The willingness of the voters to vote and select a candidate has been tarnished by the bad reputation of guilt and corruption on the parts of the past politicians. Scandals are always there badly affecting voter psychology and trust upon the political system of voting in the first place hitting the share of votes per candidate as well. Even in such dismal conditions advertising is seen as a dominant means of communication between those who seek office and the public as voter population.

Social scientists views of the mass media have undergone some cycling since the widespread use of the electronic media, but recurrent themes can be recognized in each era. The current era is marked by the search for the effects of television viewing. The most obvious are the presidential debates viewed by millions along with the expressions and gestures of the candidates. Mass advertising is considered to be the most persuasive advertising in the political campaign. Paul Freedman and L. Dale Lawton (2000) explored how voters perceive campaign advertising and what their impact might be. They conducted two telephone surveys of registered voters in the Commonwealth of Virginia in the fall of 1998 and spring of 1999.


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They found that the 2000 Republican primary elections were most helpful in their research because of the persuasiveness in personal advertising by George W. Bush and John McCain in the election. Bush moved into South Carolina with a massive advertising campaign that questioned McCain’s conservative credentials, his record as a reformer, and even his military record. McCain responded by launching a full-scale attack on Bush and broke his pledge to avoid negative campaigning. Herrington has highlighted that credibility of the candidates played the most important role in persuasively advertisement. Credibility is comprised of the qualities of being believable, trustworthy, and reliable. Another important factor useful in increasing the powers of advertisements is the use of rhetoric. The visual rhetoric in the document's design has the capacity to speak to readers just as strongly as the linguistic material does. This is the modern inclusion of technology in the political advertising campaigns.


Paul Freedman and L. Dale Lawton (2000) Does Campaign Advertising Depress Voter Turnout? The Virginia NEWS LETTER Vol. 76 No. 3 May 2000

TyAnna K. Herrington (Georgia Institute of Technology, USA) Analyzing the Apple: Persuasive Visual Rhetoric in the Campaign Literature of an Apple Party Candidate, St. Petersburg, Russia

Low voter turnout, lack of candidates leads to ho-hum primary by Scott Bauer, Published Tuesday, May 14, 2002, The Associated Press


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