Key Questions for Examining Campaign Ads
- What is the ad trying to do?
(What reactions does the advertisement try to provoke? Why? What is the anticipated end result for the candidate?)
- Who is the intended audience?
(What kind of supporters is the candidate hoping to attract? Who is and is not pictured in the advertisement? What kind of language does the advertisement use to cater to potential voters?)
- What strategies does the candidate use to create an identity or self-promote?
(What kind of image does the candidate cultivate? What props or costumes act as symbols or highlight the candidate’s message? What kind of relationship does the candidate have to others in the image?)
- What does the ad reveal or conceal about the candidate’s message and platform?
(How does the candidate support their claims? How might the candidate use language to avoid or engage with controversial issues? Does the ad provide enough information about the candidate or platform?)
- What additional information would you need to make an informed decision?
(What kind of information does the advertisement give you? When would it be most effective or convincing? What additional steps would the candidate need to take for you to follow through on Election Day? What information are you missing and how would you acquire it?)