One thing Republicans and Democrats agree on: this campaign is one of the most negative and least honest in recent memory. Ads on both sides have been disparaged by factcheckers including our own Fact Checker Glenn Kessler. Both campaigns have run ads accusing the other of distorting the truth while carrying on with their own discredited attacks.
The negativity might be having more of an impact than it has in the past. According to Pew, the stories candidates and campaigns tell are increasingly dominant compared to what newspapers report.
But the splashy, controversial ads are only part of the story. Campaigns are increasingly able to send targeted messages to specific voters though email and web videos, messages that often fly under the radar of the national press. Television spots that seem random are sometimes actually part of attempts to test different messages with different audiences.
If you were to create an advertising campaign, what would your ad look like? What do you find works best on you? What would work for other audiences?
Are new platforms just for young people or who else can they reach? Does negative or positive tone matter? What resonates best with you: a positive message from the candidate, or a negative attack on his opponent?
What should Obama and Romney do to consider the wide variety of platforms, messages, and tones?
Be specific. Cite examples using links of both political and non-political ads you’ve seen. Focus on ONE report or idea per post. That makes it easier for other readers to vote for their favorites and offer responses.
You have until Sept. 30 to share your ideas for better campaign ads and offer your advice on other people’s ideas. We will weigh in throughout the month and at the end of the month when we will highlight the best posts, including those you’ve voted to the top!