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


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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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