Joe Fuld, a Democratic campaign consultant, and Dan Allen, a Republican campaign consultant, talked about what makes an effective ad and what political advertisers are competing against on television.
This lesson looks at what factors make good campaign advertisements. It has students view televised presidential campaign advertisements starting with Dwight Eisenhower's "I like Ike" ad and continues through the 2016 presidential election. Students will view these campaign ads, analyze them and evaluate their effectiveness.
Before starting class, have the students answer the following question.
Have the students watch the video clip below and the answer the following questions. Video Clip: Analyzing Political Advertisements (3:03)
EXPLORATION: Review the responses to the video questions. Using the Historical Presidential Campaign Ads handout, have the students view the video clips and complete the chart by analyzing the message, strategies, topics, and their effectiveness. This lesson can also be adapted to have the students to be assigned individual advertisements and report out their answers to the class.
Video Clip: 1952 I Like Ike Campaign Ad (1:10)
Video Clip: 1960 John F. Kennedy Campaign Ad (1:02)
Video Clip: 1960 Richard Nixon Presidential Campaign Ad (:58)
Video Clip: 1976 Jimmy Carter Presidential Campaign Ad (:33)
Video Clip: 1984 Ronald Reagan Presidential Campaign Ad (:59)
Video Clip: 1992 Bill Clinton Presidential Campaign Ad (1:02)
Video Clip: 2000 Al Gore Presidential Campaign Ad (1:01)
Video Clip: 2000 George W Bush Campaign Ad (:32)
Video Clip: 2000 Ralph Nader Presidential Campaign Ad (:31)
Video Clip: 2004 John Kerry Campaign Advertisement (1:10)
Video Clip: 2004 George W. Bush Campaign Advertisement (:30)
Video Clip: 2008 Barack Obama Campaign Ad (1:00)
Video Clip: 2016 Hillary Clinton Campaign Ad (:59)
Video Clip: 2016 Donald Trump Presidential Campaign Ad (:30)
Using the information from the videos, have the students discuss or provide a written response to the following question.
Have the students complete the following exit slip before leaving the class.
Election Ad Comparison- Pick either the 1960, 2000, 2004 or 2016 election. Compare the ads of each candidate. Evaluate which advertisement is more effective at convincing voters.
"It's Morning in America" Comparison- View the 1984 Ronald Reagan ad and the 1992 Bill Clinton ad. Compare how the themes and language they they both use. How does the Clinton ad relate to the 1984 advertisement?
Create an Advertisement- Using the strategies that were shown in the videos, create an advertisement that would help you get elected president.
Additional Writing Prompts-
Use this lesson to introduce your students to the techniques commonly used in campaign ads by candidates and incumbents running for office.
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