Sunday, October 12, 2008

Fear The Ads...

With political ads being one of the biggest weapons a politician has to subdue voters, its surprising how many people neglect to notice the practice of fear. Implicitly or explicitly both political parties have used fear as a conative force to gain voter support.
One of the most famous political ads that used the tactic of fear to catch voters was this 1964 Lyndon B. Johnson ad.

Scary huh? The innocent little girl, plucking a white flower and erroneously counting her way into incomprehensible doom. The nuclear explosions in the wake of what was an arms race with Russia.The powerfull yet fearsome statement by LBJ "We must either love each other, or we must die". Whats even more frightening about this ad is how easily this classical ad could be renovated into an ad for this new political era. Imagine if you replaced the nuclear explosion with distressful footage of Sept 11, when the twin towers fell.
Nowadays political ads are not created in such a way where the tactic of fear is overtly obvious. Poltical ads
Here's an example of how McCain subtly uses the tactic of fear to get voters.

The idea around this ad is that we should fear a man in office who is not ready to answer to handle or answer call of duty. Having an unprepared man in office would lead to rouge nations and terrorist organizations disturbing our late night slumber, and shooting rockets at us.
Fear is not the main strategy used in today's ad campaigns. This could be due to the fact that using fear to win voters stirs up controversy in the media and threatens a candidates persona.


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