For this writing assignment, you will analyze a broadcast advertisement by a current or former candidate for elective office. You are not limited to ads by presidential candidates. Ads are available on livingroomcandidate.org, YouTube, democrats.org, gop.com, and on a variety of PAC websites. You are to write a 3-5 page analysis using the criteria outlined below. If you would like to receive extra credit, you can present your analysis to the class.
Your analysis should include the following elements:
1. Provide political background for the ad. Briefly describe or explain the following:
a. In which election year and in which race was the ad presented?
b. Who were the contestants?
c. What were the key campaign issues?
d. What interest/issue/demographic groups provided the strongest support for each candidate?
2. Describe the content of the ad.
a. What images/symbols are used?
b. Does the candidate appear in the ad?
c. Does the opponent appear in the ad?
3. Identify the message.
a. What is the ad trying to say?
4. Identify the goal/strategy of the ad.
a. Who is the intended audience? (women, older Americans, racial/ethnic minorities, Republicans/Democrats)
b. What techniques are used to generate emotion (appeal to patriotism, loyalty, reason)?
c. Is the ad positive or negative in tone?
5. Evaluate the ad™s effectiveness.
a. Has anything been said about the ad in newspapers, blogs, or elsewhere?
b. What is your opinion of the ad?
c. Does the ad achieve its goal?
Paper Formatting Requirements
Paper Length: Your paper should be 2-3 single-spaced or 3-5 double-spaced pages.
Citations*: Please remember to cite your sources including where you found the ad. MLA citation style is preferred. Whichever style you choose (MLA, APA, etc.), please be consistent. You should include a bibliography or works cited page at the end of your paper.
Sources: You should use 2-3 sources, which might include other analyses of your specific ad or political ads in general. Newspapers often provide detailed commentary about campaign ads including the Washington Post™s political ads database (http://projects.washingtonpost.com/politicalads/).