A Textual Analysis of Political Television Ads

Authored by: Gretchen Barbatsis

Handbook of Visual Communication

Print publication date:  November  2004
Online publication date:  December  2004

Print ISBN: 9780805841787
eBook ISBN: 9781410611581
Adobe ISBN: 9781135636531

10.4324/9781410611581.ch19

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Abstract

Each new election cycle brings its inevitable bombardment of political advertising and, as sure as day follows night, scholars and commentators address issues of political discourse carried out through 30-second spots. What seemed unthinkable over half a century ago when Eisenhower’s presidential campaign introduced television commercials into the political scene, soon became a mainstay of political campaigns. Though critics in 1952 were astounded at the idea of selling a political product in the same creative manner as soap or toothpaste (Wood, 1982), today itwould be a political campaign without television commercials that many would find odd.

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