prof. e.

Mass Communication, [multi]media, methodology and much, much more!

Political Ads Just Keep On Coming!

Posted by prof e on October 24, 2012

We’re approaching the end of another election season and the race couldn’t be tighter. Living in a “battleground state” I’ve seen my share of political ads, even while wielding my DVR remote control as a light saber to vanquish as many as I possibly can. With nearly a billion dollars spent on the presidential race alone, this has been a year for the record books. According to Wesleyan Media Project, this year’s presidential race has seen more than 915,000 ads air on broadcast and cable television.

TV is the medium of choice for politicians hoping to reach the masses. No other medium offers as much persuasion power as video, and a well-crafted TV spot can be a powerful tool for energizing the base and persuading the undecided voter.

Another notable characteristic of the 2012 campaign is the prevalence of negative or attack ads. Obama’s campaign was more negative (73.3%) than Romney’s (36%), while both Democratic and Republican ads by outside groups and super PACs were almost entirely negative.

Given the deluge of TV ads, what is your strategy for coping?


37 Responses to “Political Ads Just Keep On Coming!”

  1. Christine Jun said

    Let’s be serious, we’re all annoyed by the plethora of political ads. With all of the money that we’re dumping into advertising for the political campaigns, one would think that that money would be applied more towards the national deficit but hey, I’m not the President of the United States. Anyways, getting to the point, I’m coping with the political ads by either ignoring them (before Youtube videos by selecting the option of skipping it,) or switching channels during television (channel surfing) when the commercials come on.

  2. I personally cannot wait till the presidential elections happen and all these ads to stop. What I find the most annoying about the political ads is that none of them seem to be fact checked and just simply attack the other candidates instead of like past where the commercials were used to inform you of their platforms. Much like Christine whenever a political add comes up on TV I will change the channel and attempt to skip them on youtube.

  3. Francesca Morrone said

    My strategy for coping is to attempt to zone out during the airing of those ads, but the thing that irritates me the most is that it will subconsciously affect me either way. The thing that irritates me the most is not the lack of character both major candidates lack by bashing each other continually, and stooping down to each others sick level, but the fact that over one billion dollars has been spent on this campaign thus far. What the hell!?!?! That is just the most contradicting thing i have ever heard. I really would like to know what goes through their minds. No big deal, just put that billion on our China tab?? We are so in debt already and not only that, but if your going to spend that much, put it to good use i.e. education systems, research for things that are useful and meaningful!!!

  4. Rebekah Krech said

    I find it ridiculous that the candidates spend massive amounts of time, effort, and money to not only promote themselves but create negative attack ads on their opponent. Spending money on Youtube, online shows/movies, as well as television ads is outrageous. A president running for his second term spends a majority of his last year in office attempting to get reelected. Shouldn’t he be using this effort and money to go towards the national deficit or continuing to positively change the United States? I’m not saying only Obama is doing this, but any and all presidents who attempt reelection have done this. Think about how much money and time has been wasted on political ads and should simply go to a better cause. I refuse to watch political ads. You will find me turning down the volume, changing a channel, “skipping” ads when they appear.

  5. The television ads are annoying, I think we can all agree on that. My strategy for coping with the irritation each ad spawns is simply not to watch. Most of the ads on TV now are negative, I haven’t seen a positive one in days, so watching them is a waste of time. The reason why these ads are so annoying is because billions of dollars are wasted on them. America is a country trillions of dollars in debt, and while each candidate promises to fix this problem they do so by spending billions in advertisements. There are so many other things that money could be used for.

  6. Justin Kitch said

    I feel like TV ads are so over rated in the sense that people take them way too seriously especially the political ones. But in that sense the political ads are made to be taken seriously but it does not mean that all of them are always one- hundred percent true. My strategy for coping with all TV ads is just to watch the ones that interest me or have some meaning to my life and for the rest I usually just change the channel or push the mute button on my handy dandy TV remote. Also to add to all of this there is way to much money spent on TV ads in the U.S. There are extraordinary amounts of money that could very well be used or spent in a much more rational and helpful way.

  7. Kay Kay McElwrath said

    When it comes to presidential campaign ads they make me ill due to the fact most are just negative and degrading to their opponent. I feel there is no real way to fully ‘cope’ with these ads that are constantly showing on tv and even youtube. Yes, you can simply change the channel or skip the ad on youtube, but you still had to react to the commercial because you were exposed to it. Most likely you will still be thinking about it, whether it is about how you can’t stand those ads, or how you wish they would pick different topics. The closes thing to coping with these ads that I do is just to ignore them, and not let them fill my head with doubt. Which does not work every time, but I do convince myself that ads are ads; they are finding what they think will make you bend their ways, whether it is really how they feel or not. Perhaps you could say the best way of ‘coping’ it having self control over your mind and how you process the materiel being presented to you.

  8. Noelle Clark said

    The worst part about the plethora of political campaign ads that we are faced with living here in Colorado is how they are all negative ads. The vast majority of the ads, as noted above, is simply the candidates attacking each other. Ironically, I believe that the attack ads actually deter the undecided voter from even voting, because they feel that none of the candidates have good to them because all they hear is the negative. Even to a decided voter, such as myself, sometimes it is hard to know what is true or not in ads. Therefore, my solution to dealing with the deluge of political ads is to fact check them. Obviously, it doesn’t make the ads go away or make them any less prevalent, but I know what is true and what is simply politics.

  9. Kurt Pineda said

    The way I cope with these ads is by simply changing the station or walking out of the room. You think they would use all of this money toward ads on the nations debt. The ads are ridiculous. they are on youtube, pandora, and the radio. In the duration of the elections these ads consume most of the entertainment we watch daily.

  10. What a quaint, and almost uniquely American gripe.. LOL, Well, how do I cope with a problem that entails sitting on my ass, whilst simoultaneously looking at a glowing LCD box? It’s a good question to plow over internally, because after all, what would we do without getting right back to whatever crappy, recycled sitcom or even worse, reality TV yarn without before taking even the slightest bit of interest in a message from one of our potential world leaders? What will we do oh lawd???

    When things like this become “problems” to actually be contemplated seriously, well, you know that you live in a truly decadent society.

    Thankfully, we don’t have any real problems that affect our daily lives, like say, I dunno, finding adequately clean water, food or living in fear of a tyrannical govt., that probably is supported by either one of the two men whose political ads on our TV programming, that we so indulge in groaning about and pay little attention to..

  11. Jovaun Rodriguez said

    We have always had to deal with how annoying the presidental ads could be each election season but with the statistics of the cost of 1 billion dollars and the total of 915,000 presidental ads between them both sounds very outrages to anyone that can count that high just because on how big of a deal this has become with the power of persuasion through money . I totally agree with what Noelle Clark says because it is evidently true with what happens when you abuse the american body with politics on television and internet to just say how horrible the other candidate is with what most of us can agree is twisted lies to win your approval. As election day comes I hope its not the case for people to follow along with such ridiculous ads but on their own personal research in order to get a understanding of who are you willing to take risk with knowing that neither of them is perfect for the job and that they both have flaws in taking charge of this country. In what i will do to continue to cope with the constant brain washing ads is simply ignore false information or avoid television ads that concerns the matter just like how anyone would do or simply laugh like how my grandfather does,tells you alot of how things have changed.

  12. Brittany Gutierrez said

    I personally cannot wait until the election is over, having it on almost every TV channel and then going to YouTube and still having politically ads is getting tiring. Even as I am writing this post I am hearing a political ad on TV. Most people had their minds made up, and the negativity or any other political ad is not really convincing. I usually try and change the channel or at this point it has become such background noise and all blurs together. I’ve heard so many that I have just stopped caring about what they say. One thing is for sure though, I really can’t wait until this is over so I don’t have to hear it on Pandora, YouTube, and TV. I feel like it is following me.

  13. Rebekah McAnally said

    With not having cable in my home I thought I wouldn’t be seeing as many ad’s. That is not true, watching Hulu and being on fackebook you see just as many ads. They don’t personally bug me because I just tune them out. They tend to make me mad when I do pay attention to them. Most of them are just bashing the other party and that is not nice. My coping mechanism is to just not pay attention.

  14. Kacy George said

    I cope with these advertisements by simply trying to tune them out when they are on. When I do pay attention to the ads I don’t believe anything they say though because all it is them bashing each other. Plus they are on every two seconds I feel like so I cannot wait til the election is over. What annoys me is that they put out these ads and they mostly are negative toward the other candidate which I think is sad. I know the whole point of the ads are to get people to vote for them and not the other candidate. I just think they should put more of what they plan on doing as president instead of bashing each other.

  15. Maya Rugg said

    My strategy for coping with these campaign ads is to simply not pay attention to them. When they come on TV I either change the channel, leave the room, or focus my attention on something else. If I’m on Youtube I push the mute and push the skip button when it is available. But there are those times that I do watch them but I don’t regurgitate anything that is being said. All I hear is “This is (Politician’s name) and I approve this message.”

  16. Paige Proffitt said

    I have known who I was supporting for the past few months, but in my opninion the ads became very annoying after July. The main way I cope with all the negativity is by tunning out or ignoring the ads that pop up on Pandora, TV, or even the radio. However, sometimes I actually listen to the information and laugh at how absurd and untruthful they are. The scary part is the ignorant and uninformed people who think they know what the candidate is going to do for this country, when in all actuallity they do not have a clue!! I am not persuaded by emotional television ads, but I look at the candidate and his records/actions. THEY ALWAYS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS!

  17. Gianna Lisac said

    Although I also find the rush of political advertisements annoying and discouraging, I sometimes become interested enough to check into some of the information presented by the parties and groups. Even as the volume of ads has surged over the past few weeks as the election nears, I still usually tune them out. However, if I happen to hear a statistic or statement made on one of the commercials that is especially alarming, I sometimes try to research it and find some truth to the information for myself. Usually though, I just end up getting even more fusterated so I stop and go back to watching television where I avoid more political commercials.

  18. Felix Cordova said

    Political ads are outrageous and the ads have gotten worse in just the last two elections. If the need to have a half of a million ads running is a must, then I would think the campaigns for the candidates were aiming for people who are easily persuaded by nonsense. Apparently there must be some technique that I don’t know about. How do I cope with all the ads? When it comes to youtube, I can’t. I waste my time to study by going through youtube videos, but now I have to waste an extra 30 seconds for each ad that plays before the video starts. It’s sickening that I can’t escape the ads. I don’t watch television so there’s no need to dodge anything there. All the websites I visit run the ads as well, but I will soon block the flash ads as soon as I can’t take it anymore. I have not gotten to the point where I want to punch my computer yet, so there is no coping needed.

  19. Dakota Charleston said

    Being that I am majoring in Mass Communications I am constantly watching Television, using Facebook, listening to the radio, and using many other social media sites. This year’s election is very different from the last one simply because the candidates have figured out that they can reach their younger voters by all the social media sites we visit every day, but they don’t realize that how annoyed we get. To be honest, watching the political ads do not persuade my vote they just make me want to pull my hair out. We all know that what each candidate is saying is a lie, so why waste out time watching or listening to their ads. I already know who I am going to vote for, so to cope with these over played and annoying ads on Television I either change the channel or mute the TV and focus on something else until the ad is over. Every now and then I will have bad luck, an ad will start playing so I will change the channel, but every single channel I change it to has a political ad playing, so I will just sit there and listen to their ridiculous lies. Now of course I was exaggerating when I said every channel is playing one, but it does feel like that, especially when it gets closer to the voting day. My strategy for coping is to change the channel, mute the TV, or leave the room all together until the ad is over. If the candidates didn’t bash one another in their ads then they wouldn’t be so bad, but until then I will continue ignoring them.

  20. Evan Duran said

    It is pretty much impossible to avoid political ads. They are everywhere from television to radio to facebook to pandora. Come on people I just want to listen to some music without hearing some bash on the other candidate. Since most political ads are this way I hear the ad start and then tune out. I never pay attention to them so they should just save their money and do something more productive. Example….national debt. Every political ad has a spin on the real facts in order to make the other candidate look bad. Its best to do some research and check your facts. Whenever an ad comes on television I always just change the channel. I can’t wait for the election to be over.

  21. Taylor Fox said

    What an era we live in! Spending a billion dollars on an election is absolutely outrageous! Of course it will be one for the record books. I cannot even count how many ads I see a day bashing Romney on his foreign policies, his plans to cut funds for PBS, and how he intends on handling the shocking increase on our national debt. The list goes on. To be honest, I have seen few attacks towards Obama….BUT I still see ads approved by Romney, more so just advocating his campaign. The cool part about having these ads on television is that you really don’t have to watch them. People get so frustrated with the copious amount of political ads, but the truth of the matter is that it is pretty easy to cope with. I simply just turn the channel, mute the television, or find something productive I could quickly do for a rough minute or so. When watching shows on ‘hulu’ over the past MONTH, it asks for me to pick one of three Obama campaign commercials. I aimlessly click one of the three, put my computer on mute, wait for the uninformative commercial to end, turn the volume back on and watch the show I intended on watching. It really is that effortless. I find the presidential ads on television to be almost comical. The commercials are bias and will pretty much say anything for your vote. Do your own research and dive into the election the correct way.

  22. Donovan Schmitt said

    I’m honestly glad the election is almost over because it gets real annoying when I’m trying to watch something on TV and I change the channel because of another commercial with an ad. Also the same with Pandora, I’m trying to get homework done and listen to a little music, but then all of a sudden my station gets interrupted with some faulty ad. I’m getting tired of all of these ads, so when I’m on the internet, or just watching TV, and there is an ad on, I turn them off and pop on a DVD. At least with this idea, no commercials, and no election stuff. I’ll be doing this for the remainder of the time until the election is over, making my life in the media a little easier to cope with.

  23. Jasmin French said

    It seriously makes no sense to me that while America is in tremendous debt, the people who are so “pro- getting America out of debt” would spend nearly a billion dollars on the presidential race. Im happy the presidential race is almost over because the extremes they are going to in order to be elected is getting super annoying, especially the fact that I receive random calls asking me who Im voting for. My “strategy for coping” with all of this political talk/campaigning/receiving annoying phone calls would definitely be just to wait it out and wait for the elections to be over. it doesnt bother me a whole bunch, its their job.

  24. Kaitlyn Nehf said

    I have to be honest, when I read the first sentence of this blog, “We’re approaching the end of another election season…” I couldn’t have been more relieved. Yes, the presidential election is extremely important, but by the end everyone has got to admit that we are glad it is over. It’s interesting to me that so much money is spent on television ads, because I personally don’t pay hardly any attention to them. An advertisement swaying you towards a particular president seems silly to me, because for most people they already have their minds set and a few commercials isn’t going to change their vote. In order to cope with the overload of these ads, I usually change the channel otherwise I have “I’m Mitt Romney, and I approve this message.” stuck in my head for the next hour.

  25. Kyra Williams said

    I normally cope by jut changing the channel. Or if it is on my Dvr I just skip forward. Sometimes it’s hard to escape all the ads though. Especially on YouTube videos, sometimes you may be able to skip but sometimes you can’t, in this case I just turn off the sound. But it’s or just tv and YouTube. I’ll get political campaign ads in my Facebook telling me to like their pages. I honestly can’t wait til this is all over. There is really no need for all these ads between all the debates and stuff. I just don’t see why it’s necessary to waste all this money. But I cope just by trying to avoid or ignore it all I can.

  26. Aspen Kovtynovich said

    My strategy for coping with the onslaught of political ads is to ignore them, even though this presents a major challenge to do so. If I am watching television, I will either fast forward through the commercials, or if I am unable to, I will simple mute the commercials and direct my attention elsewhere, such as a book or my laptop. I feel that if politicians spent their energy, and, more importantly, the money that goes into their campaign funds, on trying to actually fix the economy, they might feel less hostility from the people they are trying to convince to vote for them. I also believe that by resisting the urge to throw attacks ads at their opponents, and just focusing on showing the pros of electing themselves as president, people may be more willing to vote for that candidate. Instead of treating the American people as unintelligent sheep that need to be tricked or manipulated into voting for a certain candidate, politicians need to start looking at these people as competent citizens who have needs and who will follow a leader who has our best interests at heart.

  27. Michael Liptak said

    It’s a tough pill to swallow when you put into consideration how much money politicians have wasted political ads, it leaves an even bitter taste in my mouth to know that we the people are to blame for them not the politicians. The only way reason Mitt Romney and Barack Obama have the money to run these ads is because of people donating money to their campaign, people have donated close to a billion dollars to two people so they can talk crap about the other candidate, again it just leaves a bad taste in my mouth. But for me the way I cope with all the ads is if I get annoyed enough to get around them I just turn the channel or put the sound on mute there and think to myself only two more weeks of this bs.

  28. Susanna Flores said

    I would listen to more political advertisements if they stopped attaching each other. I believe that each political figure should focus solely on what they want to change in four years and provide proof of how they are going to accomplish those goals. There is no need for pointing fingers, name calling, rude comments etc. I can usually tell within the first five seconds whether it is a campaign supporting a certain candidate or if I am going to hear a bias reason as to why I should not vote for their opponent. I don’t want to hear reasons from the opposing side telling me why I shouldn’t vote for their rival, I can decide that for myself. All I want to hear is each candidate telling me why I should vote for them. I need for them to tell me the things that they will do to help fix and change this country and how they plan to achieve that goal because that is what is going to catch my attention. I do agree that the ads are great because it is an important decision that has to really be weighed out and without straight facts, no one can know for certain what will happen. All in all, I would propose that if campaign ads continue to circulate, they should focus on themselves rather than trying to break down their opponent.

  29. Sera Aksoy said

    I am interestested in politics, but I do not desire to speak of them constantly. Thoughtout this election process the ads for the campaign have definetly dominated the majority of media. I cannot go a day without coming across some form of notification. I find political ads all over campus, facebook, tweets on twitter, and every comercial break. In order to cope with this anonyance I have just chosen not to be bothered by it. I could try to dodge all ads but that honestly would be a great deal of work. Instead of doing so I just stand my ground. I know what my personal stance is reguarding the election and choose not to debate with random strangers unless necessary. So yes I have been paying less attention to the comercial periods or muting the program, the election is a big deal and I understand that so I choose to not let it bother me.

  30. Tyler Shown said

    Honestly, I barely even notice the television ads anymore, but it’s the internet ads that are killing me. I can’t go on any social site without a campaign ad being played; they’re even playing before Youtube videos and you can now even “sponsor” a link to be at the top of the Facebook news feed. It almost seems as if media companies are using the candidates for money more the candidates are using the media companies for voters. Therefore, the only way I can really cope is to lock myself in a dark room somewhere without any connection to the outside world. That’s the only way I would be able to truly avoid the campaign ads rather than just ignore them.

  31. Leland Brian Johnson said

    I am from Arizona and in my state there were hardly any political ads, which was nice! Now that i live in Colorado i have never witness so many political ads and it’s becoming extremely annoying. The ads are so negative that its hard to tell if the canidates are even telling the truth and this ruins the ethos in there commercials. I have no way of telling any more if the commercial is even worth my time and the bickering between the two makes them look like children fighting over a toy. The way i cope is by ether changing the channel or by letting it play, but not pay any atttention to it.

  32. Morgan Hartfield said

    With the debate going on and the deluge in all the campaign ads my only way to cope with this situation is to not watch as much tv.It’s gotten so bad that literally either every commercial or every other commercial is about the campaign. This election i feel like the candidates over did the ads to the fullest and very few being positive.In pueblo at my house i don’t have cable which helps out a lot, i prefer to use netflix that way i can avoid any ads or commercials necessary and just go straight to watching my shows.When i’m at home and a commercial come on i’ll watch and time the first one and then after that for the next ones to come i’ll put a timer on my phone and go do what i need to do like pick up some clothes or try and take a shower something simple and then once my timer on my phone goes off i go back to watching my program. I just literally can’t take wactching these ads anymore, if it werent for me nedd birth cntrol or financial aid i probably wouldn’t even vote, thats how fed up i am with these campaign ads.I can’t wait for this election to be over with, i’m sick of the ads,the debates,the news talking about it, signs posted in the streets ect.

  33. Jade Lopez said

    The campaign ads this year are driving me crazy. Not only do they constantly air on tv, but they tend to be repetitive. I am not over exaggerating when I say I have seen the same political ad 3 times in about 2 hours on and off while I watch tv. My way to cope with this madness is by putting in a movie. That way I am guaranteed no interruptions by any political ads. I understand that with the 3 debates and the different outcomes they finished with, constant correction and explaination is need for some of the voters. But as far as my personal judgment I try to isolate myself from watching tv until the ads have come to a stop.

  34. My way of coping with the presidential ads are by spending more time researching what it is they really stand for. Because the ads are broadcasted in a variety of places and are shown so often, it is often a struggle to not ignore them and go on with my life. I haven’t really watched the presidential debates not because I’m not interested but rather I have been lacking time. However, I have made myself familiar with the views each canidate has and why they stand for what they do. I will be glad when the election is over with because things are becoming overwhelming.

  35. Response to ‘sebersole’ Oct. 24, 2012, “” post title, Political Ads Just Keep On Coming:
    What makes this year’s election extremely important political activity versus other years? I’ll consider that further.
    Advertisement is the dominant acceptable format for selling the candidate to the public. Advertisement is the TV spot, radio brief, internet video, disseminated pictures and messages through various choice of medium, telephone polls and other formats.
    What is the acceptable format for selling the ideals and who is keeping them alive? Are they alive? Are ideals an empty bullet shell, spent? Are the politicians allowed to discuss ideals? Can they do it without involving the church?
    The script writers, the researchers, the campaign strategist team of opinion bloggers, these people know they are important and unknown. They are known in the circles they run in. They get paid to do a job. The commercial ad’s creative team got paid pretty well to do their job. Although, I have become convinced that team knows better than anyone the level of apathy and lack of interest among percentages of viewers who may or may not be “receiving the message.”
    Government gets paid too much. Advertisers get paid way too much. There is new money versus old money now. Chaos is a force as real as wind and water.
    When is duty more important than payment? Is it some specific group who has a duty to govern and maintain order? Would they do it with no purse strings attached?
    To gather perspectives other than your own, to express your own opinion as well as possible, to ask questions and seek further, these are the best ways to have confidence in your opinions and base of knowledge.

  36. Brianna Greer said

    I hate those annoying commericals! Not onlu are they on my television but they are also on my internet radio. I think some of them are very funny with the things that are said. I do enjoy the ones when it is just the prseident or mitt romney sitting down talking staright to the camera. I think the ones that are most affect for the audience are the ones that also old interviews that each of the candidates have done in the past. When he see prove of what the canidates have said its easier to believe then when a camercial of what a back voice says one of the canidates have said. The commercials for some people can be informative because thats the most information that most people get. Not everybody will do research and when they see the commericals they can base their votes off of what the commerciall says. But on the other hand these commericals are boring and annoying for me. My coping stratagies are pretty much the same for all commericals, i just change the channel everytime my show goes on a commerical. unfortunatly i can’t skip commericals on my internet radio so i just turn the voume down.

  37. Ronell McNeal said

    Mass Media has a huge part during the elections. The swing states like colorado get alot of adds to get people to vote since the state can go either way. “During the 2008 presidential campaign, Barack Obama’s team took full advantage of the new media, allowing him to dominate the campaign” as said in chapter 7 in the mass media book. The fact that social media was a big part of why Barack was elected shows how much mass media has a effect on the the U.S and even the world. “Obama’s team demonstrated a familiarity with and an adeptness at using new media technology to micro-target (narrowly define) audiences” which got alot of those people that us mass media to get alot of there news. All the money spent on ads when the U.S is in debt is that the best way to spent our money? It might not be the best way to spend the money but the technique is highly effective. Can’t be made that he took advantage because everyone else could have done the same thing.

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