Negativity in Political Advertising
Whether or not you agree with negative political campaigns, one thing is for sure: you notice them. It’s hard to turn away from an ad letting us know the dirt on one of these esteemed politicians, kind of like driving by an accident, you just can’t help but look. But do these negative ads really impact our voting choices one way or the other?
According to a report done by Wesleyan University, 70% of presidential ads in 2012 were negative, up from 9% in 2008. That’s a huge jump, which would lead you to believe that they must be pretty effective. The study indicates that outside involvement, such as interest groups, may have something to do with this. “Interest group airings, though few in 2008, were overwhelmingly positive (75 percent) in that year compared to only 14 percent positive in 2012. Candidate airings, which made up the bulk of the airings in 2008, were only 9 percent negative in 2008.”
So do we like these ads? Find them distasteful? Or maybe we’re just simply entertained by them?
Some believe there is a fine line. CNN reports that “ads that are considered too personal or that shed a negative light on a family member” are the most disliked. Basically don’t let your negative message involve a family member, but personal attacks are fair game. They also believe that negative advertising is on the rise, and also reaching all different kinds of campaigns – local, statewide and national.
CNN also finds that while negative campaigns may be found to be distasteful and wind up dismissed at first, they can creep up on voters when they are casting their ballot. Suddenly, they’ll recall one of those negative messages while they’re at the polls, perhaps forgetting where they heard it, but remembering the message just the same.
Deciding whether to participate in negative advertising is up to you. There is research both for and against these tactics, but consider this: do you want a campaign that you can be proud of or do you want a campaign that wins? Can you have both?
Whether you decide to venture into mud-slinging territory or want to keep your campaign on the straight and narrow, you’ll need some top notch political campaign advertising materials. Political push cards, banners, postcards, flyers and more will help you spread your message to the masses. You’ll get no judgement from us whichever methods you choose, good luck with your campaign!