Modern Political Ads: Tense, Sad, Negative, Male

by Categorized: President Obama, Washington Date:

From Middletown, the wonks at the Wesleyan Media Project are out with some interesting (if tardy) campaign analysis.

A few tidbits:

– advertising in 2012 was negative and downright depressing. Looking just at advertising in the presidential general election, we find that 64 percent of ads were attack ads – ones that only mentioned an opponent. A mere 14 percent were positive – solely mentioning the sponsor – while the remainder of the ads were contrast (comparative) ads. The dominant emotion was anger, with fully 74 percent of ad airings making some appeal to anger. Our coders described the music in 52 percent of the ads as ominous or tense, while 34 percent of ads featured sorrowful or sad music. Only 23 percent of ads used uplifting music.

– Men\’s voices predominated. Of the ads that featured a voiceover, 62 percent of the time the voice was a man\’s. A woman\’s voice was featured 32 percent of the time, and both a man and woman did voiceovers in the remaining 7 percent of ads.

More here.


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