Blogs > Cliopatria > Living Room Candidate: A History of Presidential Campaign Commercials, 1952-2000

Jan 19, 2007 11:39 pm


Living Room Candidate: A History of Presidential Campaign Commercials, 1952-2000



Presidential campaign commercials have become increasingly important in American political campaigns over the last few decades. Television ads play a significant role in shaping American public perceptions of candidates and their goals.

This website archives more than 180 television commercials used in presidential campaigns since 1952, as well as an annotated guide to 21 websites created for the 1996 and 2000 elections. Ads from each election are accessible by year as well as by common themes and strategies used over the years, such as “Looking Presidential,” “Attack Ads,” “Family Man,” and “Real People.” Of particular interest are the essays analyzing ad strategies of the major party candidates for each election. The site also offers a 1,000-word program guide--intended for high school students--offering a history of television commercials in campaigns and a teacher’s guide with a lesson plan and suggested assignments and activities. A valuable resource for students of American political history, consumer culture, and advertising history.

Read a more in-depth review written by McGill University Professor Gil Troy at http://historymatters.gmu.edu. Or explore other website reviews at History Matters.


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