Unit 3: Post War America
The 1952 Election: Television Advertising as a Campaign Tool
quot;The idea that you can merchandise candidates for high office like breakfast cereal is the ultimate
indignity to the democratic process.quot;
‐‐‐Democratic Candidate Adlai Stevenson, 1956
quot;Television is no gimmick, and nobody will ever be elected to major office again without presenting
themselves well on it.quot;
‐‐‐Television producer and Nixon campaign consultant Roger Ailes, 1968
Ike for President
After watching several of these campaign spots, what strikes you about the style, performance, and message of
Stevenson for President
After watching several of these campaign spots, what strikes you about the style, performance, and message of the
In your opinion, who used the medium to a better advantage? Support your statement with specific examples.
What can we learn about the concerns of the nation in 1952 and the differences in the
candidates from watching these commercials?
Small Group Activity
In groups of three, chose one ad from 1952 and another ad from 2008.
Compare the ads using the following categories:
• Production Choices
• Overall Effect of the commercials
As a group, discuss this question: what do these changes suggest about how the medium itself has evolved?