Negative Campaigning

With the election coming up Tuesday, I feel it is necessary to add onto the already humiliating election. Particularly, the campaigns, from both parties. I will be taking a completely neutral position for the duration of this blog because I am arguing against both Hillary and Trump’s negative campaigns. I watch television for entertainment; basically, to enjoy my leisure time. Yet, instead, these elections disrupt my “me time.” During every commercial there is at least one campaign ad or commercial, most of which consist of one party attempting to humiliate and downgrade the other. This tactic, however, seems extremely ineffective to me.

As if the election with two extremists was not enough, their ads make it even worse. It is not that their commercials are not wrong, but they seem very childish for someone that will potentially be running our country. In fact, a recent article in the Journalist’s Resource, explains how “53 percent of ads that aired over the previous month were negative.” Particularly, “Just over 60 percent of Clinton’s ads have attacked Trump while 31 percent have been positive, focusing on Clinton. Trump, on the other hand, has by and large used contrast ads, which both promote himself and attack Clinton. He has aired no positive ads.” I feel as though Trump and Clinton are two already extremely famous and voiced figures. The debates made it clear that they do not like each other and they both tend to reprimand each other; so why commercials too? Maybe it is just me, but I feel like the ads are unnecessary. They should be worrying about themselves and how to make people respect them/want to vote for them rather than trying to embarrass the enemy.

Do you guys think the commercials are effective?

–Jenna Romano (Blog #6)

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6 Responses to Negative Campaigning

  1. mediaphiles says:

    No I also find the commercials or their campaigns annoying, ineffective, and immature. I learned in a marketing class before that directly bringing up or comparing your company or brand to your competitor is often a very ineffective marketing method because all it does is take the focus away from what you are internally trying to advertise about your company/brand and draw more attention to your competitor. I feel that is exactly what is being done here. Just like in the cell phone commercials where the “Verizon Guy” now switched to sprint and AT&T always bash the other two companies and they are always bringing up each other into what seems as this bug, competitive company brawl. Obviously the election is a bit more important than which cell phone carrier you decide to choose, but the way they are going about it simply does not convince me at all.
    -Kendall Fischlein

  2. mediaphiles says:

    I think most people just find the commercials annoying and therefore they aren’t effective. This election does seem like it has been dragging out forever. I just find it so annoying when I’m trying to watch a TV show and I’m not trying to think about politics and then a commercial pops up that negatively campaigns against either Clinton or Trump. I just put the ad on mute until it is finished. I don’t think they are effective at all. – Katie Thevenow

  3. mediaphiles says:

    I think to the very uninformed voter these ads have some sort of effect. Additionally, if you are strongly for either candidate I think these ads are just reinforcing your beliefs. But to the average informed voter I think we all see past these stupid tactics. With that being said, however, it’s unrealistic to say that negative campaigning will cease to exists from here on out. I definitely believe that it’s here to stay, for better or for worse. -Courtney Green

  4. mediaphiles says:

    I agree with all the points mentioned above. To the educated voter these ads are just so frustrating, or are simple reinforcements of beliefs. I am so ready for this election to be over, along with the many attack ads ruining my television time. – Katie Nelson

  5. mediaphiles says:

    I hate commercials as much as anybody, and I minored in advertising in undergrad. And while I typically find attack ads ineffective, I do have to say that I think most of the Clinton campaign’s attack ads have been very effective, even chilling. Especially the extended ones. Having the handicapped, veterans, women, minorities, and all the other people Trump has insulted listen to what he has said about them and show their reactions really puts a lot of his vileness into perspective. While I understand the pure indefensible awfulness of Trump’s comments and take great offense to them, as a straight, physically capable, white male, I do not feel the direct pain of such statements as much as the people they are targeted against. So personally, I was very impacted and affected by Clinton’s campaigns showing the pain Trump has caused so many people. And to be completely honest, Trump did 90% of the work for those attack ads himself by being a truly terrible human. I generally loathe advertisements of every variety, be they negative or positive political ads or inane Geico commercials, but I think that the Clinton campaign’s attack ads have not only been effective advertisements, but powerful video documenting of the damage and pain that Trump has wrought.

    –Kevin Pabst

  6. mediaphiles says:

    My mom ran for state representative when I was in 7th grade, and many of the attack ads her opponent released were incredibly gross and offensive. They were filled with the kind of sexist language we saw in much of this election’s advertisements (specifically on Trump’s side) and we certainly effective in that they contributed to her loss. I know Dr. Louden is conducting research on the ads that aired in this particular election, and it might be interested to talk to him on his findings.

    -Callie Sartain

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