Selling Politics

Advertising and the Political Campaigns

Radio commercials, television commercials, paper handouts. Candidates running for various office positions are even using YouTube as an advertisement strategy. Advertising is key if you’re running for a position in office, congress, or if you’re just trying to get the word out about something. But do candidates take campaigning too far? Or is all fair in love and war?

Out of the six voters that I interviewed, all of them agreed when I asked if they had noticed any negative campaign advertisements. Or, any campaign strategy that they were uncomfortable with. One voter even commented, “I’ve seen one positive campaign commercial in the last two weeks.” Another voter stated, “I think campaign ads need to be more about what [candidates] will do, and less about why their opponent is bad.”

However, could negative ads just be a way of showing who the real leader is when it comes to a certain position?

What about the impacts of negative versus positive? Does a negative statement stick with someone longer than a positive one does? Even so, does that make it fair to comment on the lack of trust a candidate has with a political component? What about a candidate who is strong and not afraid to speak their mind? Does a candidate that only says nice things about their opponents come off as too weak to be a good match for that particular political position?

In a society that seems to treasure qualities such as strength and courage, it seems like bad advertisements that bash the person’s opponents could be looked at as flaunting the values society seems to hold so dear.

Whatever intention a political candidate has when they comment on how incompetent their competition is, they should remember that even though those statistics and thoughts might stay with the voter, they shouldn’t forget to weigh the bad with the good. Who knows, that might be the only way one really sways the vote.

Opinion by Kiva Arne


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