Television and Political Advertising - Vol. 2

Television and Political Advertising - Vol. 2

Television and Political Advertising - Vol. 2

Television and Political Advertising - Vol. 2

Synopsis

This volume represents one of the first major scholarly efforts to unravel the psychological and symbolic processing of political advertising. Utilizing survey, experimental, qualitative, and semiotic methodologies to study this phenomenon, the contributors to Television and Political Advertisingtrace how political ads help to interpret the psychological reality of the presidential campaign in the minds of millions of voters. A product of the National Political Advertising Research Project, this interdisciplinary effort is valuable to researchers in advertising, communication, and consumer psychology since it helps define future work on the relationship between television, politics, and the mind of the voter.

This volume, Television and Political Advertising: Signs, Codes and Images, is the second of two, and covers such areas as Generating Meaning in the Pursuit of Power, Analyses of the Meaning of Political Ads, The Campaign Documentary as an Ad, and Regulating Signs and Images.

Excerpt

The sizzle, sputter, and hiss of political discourse is increasingly confined to 30-second barrages. The television "spot" is the haiku of political thought. Much must be crammed into 30 seconds, but even more must be inferred when the message is received and unpacked in the mind of the voter.

The chapters in these volumes examine the artifice of the televised political ad and attempt to peer into the minds of the voters who view them. This work is the labor of the National Political Advertising Research Project (NPARP). NPARP's mission was to study the psychological and symbolic processing of political advertising.

Back in the spring of 1987, I felt that we needed a better understanding of how these ads structure political information and how that information is represented in the minds of voters. Through the generous assistance of the Gannett Foundation, funding was obtained to support research projects at universities and research centers around the country. The project was administered by the Center for Research in Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

The NPARP focused solely on television advertising. Television is the most influential political advertising medium. We reasoned that to better understand the psychological processing of political advertising, it was first necessary to better understand the processing of television as a medium.

From a pool of over 80 research proposals, a group of 17 was chosen . . .

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