Recurring Elements of Videostyle and the Future of Presidential Candidate Presentation
In the preceding chapters, we have examined videostyle from a number of different perspectives. Some elements of the verbal, nonverbal, and production aspects of presidential candidate presentation on television seem to stand out as particularly characteristic of presidential videostyle. These elements are summarized in Figure 10.1, which displays the recurring elements of presidential videostyle from 1952 through 1996.
In terms of the verbal component, presidential candidate spots are issue oriented and candidate positive, while relying on emotional appeals. The content of presidential spots are weighted toward economic concerns, stress the aggressive and competency qualities of the candidate, and emphasize the values of a comfortable life, a sense of accomplishment, change and progress, and patriotism. The nonverbal component of videostyle is characterized by the use of anonymous announcers, as fewer and fewer candidates speak for themselves in their spots. When they do appear, however, they are in formal indoor settings, dressed formally, looking attentive and serious, maintaining eye-contact with the viewer, and speaking fluently and without a monotone.