Advertising Effects Research and Theory Dwight D. Eisenhower's presidential campaign used television political advertising to promote his presidency to voters in 1952. Over the last five decades, presidential contenders have spent increasing sums of their campaign funds on making and distributing political advertisements.
Other important events in the history of political advertising include the following:
In 1831, Henry Ward Beecher began publishing speeches by former U.S. President Andrew Jackson over the newspaper he had founded, The Cincinnati Gazette. These essays became known as "The Autobiography of an Idea", and are considered the first true political ads. They urged citizens to vote for Jackson's successor, William Henry Harrison, in the 1832 election.
In 1854, Abraham Lincoln released a series of anti-slavery advertisements that are regarded as some of the first modern political commercials. The ads were published as part of an effort by the Republican Party to attract support from northern abolitionists who might otherwise vote for its Democratic opponent, Franklin Pierce. One of these ads featured a graphic representation of a hand reaching into a bucket of blood to pull out a piece of cotton thread; this image is now used by advertisers across the world to symbolize slavery.
Effort advertising in politics is the employment of a media advertising campaign to influence a political discussion and, ultimately, voters. These advertisements are created by political consultants and campaign personnel. They aim to get their messages before as many people as possible and to do so using as many channels of communication as possible.
This can include radio ads, television ads, online ads, direct mailers, and more. The effort that goes into creating these ads is called an effort ad.
In addition to consultants, other people involved in effort advertising campaigns include agency employees (who may or may not be consultants), script writers, art directors, account managers, and others.
Politicians often hire consultants to help them formulate plans for running campaigns and to advise them on issues related to campaigning. Consultants may have political experience or expertise in areas such as marketing, public relations, research, technology, or some other field relevant to politics.
Often, candidates will hear about opportunities through word of mouth or through contacts made by other people working on campaigns. If they are interested, they will send out letters requesting information about the consultant's services. The consultant will usually provide details about their own background and qualifications, as well as information about any previous clients they have had.
In 1952, ad man Rosser Reeves prepared ads for Dwight D. Eisenhower, which became the first presidential TV ad. One Disney animated commercial (top left) included the tune "Everybody Likes Ike." Democratic candidate Adlai Stevenson was uninterested in working with ad execs to build his campaign...
The first televised presidential debate was held in 1959 between Vice President Richard Nixon and Senator John F. Kennedy. It was a four-way race at this point, with Nixon leading Kennedy by ten points or more. But as they debated, viewers began to like Nixon better than Kennedy, so he ended up defeating him by less than 1 percent of the vote.
Nixon's team created an animated film (bottom right) that showed how his economic policies would have reduced the budget deficit if they had been in place during Kennedy's presidency. The film used footage from the 1950s along with cartoon characters to make its point...
The first presidential election where voters could choose any one of the candidates from either party was 1968. Neither Nixon nor Humphrey managed to get their supporters to vote for them, so they both lost...
Nixon made another animated film (bottom left) this time attacking Humphrey's record while in Congress. It commented on issues such as immigration, crime, and welfare to try and make the case that Nixon was the only safe choice.
In the cultural and economic climate of the 1950s, far-reaching advertising trends were developed in the United States. During the early years of the decade, traditional media such as radio, newspapers, and magazines remained important ad conduits, but television swiftly became a cornerstone of many marketers' national media campaigns. By the end of the decade, television would account for nearly half of all American advertising expenditures.
Television was an innovative medium that challenged conventional wisdom about what people wanted to watch and how they watched it. It was also becoming more affordable which allowed larger audiences at less cost per viewer. The number of US households with televisions increased from 30 million in 1949 to 95 million by 1959. At the same time, radio viewership was declining because more people were owning cars which meant they could listen to the radio in the car.
Television advertising often took advantage of its new medium's limited viewing time. Program sponsors wanted to get their messages out quickly and avoid losing viewers who might change channels or turn off their sets. Special effects were not used much in television ads until later in the decade when they became common during the Batman series starring Adam West.
One of the first major advertising campaigns of the 1950s was launched in January 1954 by Procter & Gamble to promote Pampers diapers.
Campaigns can use a variety of media (depending on local law). The two most common types of effort ads are broadcast ads which air during television programs and radio ads which are aired during radio shows.
In addition to these two forms of advertising, campaigns also use electronic forums such as Facebook pages, Twitter accounts, and blogs to distribute information about their candidates and issues. This type of advertising is known as digital advertising or online marketing.
Finally, campaigns may print material for distribution at events or through mailings. This includes flyers, posters, and brochures. Such items are referred to as direct mailings.
Political advertising can be divided up into three categories based on how it will affect the election: support, attack, and issue ads.
Support ads give voters information they need to make an informed choice at the polls. They may do this by explaining the qualifications of each candidate or by simply providing factual data about candidates' records or positions on issues important to voters.
Attack ads focus on attacking a candidate's character or record.