Mass Media & Society

I try to write a Media Diary: Attempt III

imag0184Television ads are key elements in elections. Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton both used political ads in their 2016 campaigns to promote their appeal as the President of the United States. Although they both had the same aim of getting people to go out and vote for their candidate, the use of attack ads have always made strong appeals about why people shouldn’t vote for one candidate and should instead vote for the other. The first attack ad appeared in the 1964 election with Lyndon B. Johnson’s “Daisy” ad and still continues on today. Today attack ads are not only in television but also the Internet as shown with the 2016 election and play key roles.

For example, Trump’s campaign put out the “Basket of Deplorables” ad attacking Clinton. The ad uses the strategy of putting down Clinton by uses her own words against her. The video played audio clips of Clinton calling Trump’s supporters rich and deplorable, racists, sexist, homophobes, and islamophones. Well that may not be terrible by itself the ad uses b-roll of diverse men and women rally with Trump signs proving the point that Trump isn’t just support by rich white men. The ad shows Clinton insulting the people by using her own stereotypes for his diverse supporters. The video specifically targets it’s appeals to the working-class Americans by adding in the literal visual of Trump helping out the working-class people by helping to unload baby food boxes from a truck. The ad basically discredits Clinton and promotes Trump as being a president that will help the working-class people.

Another example would be Clinton’s campaign ad “Daisy” attacking Trump. Like the previous ad this ad used the strategy of putting down Trump by using different clips of Trump and guest appearances. The video draws people in with a reference to the old Daisy 1964 campaign ad by having the little girl grown up and addressing her concerns of Trump starting another nuclear war. The ad works to instill fear into the masses that Trump will start a nuclear war. This is strengthened by adding in clips of Trump bringing up nuclear war early in his campaign and referencing different conserve reporters who referenced Trump had brought up the subject 3 times before dropping. The ad’s main goal is to get the people to believe Trump will be an unpredictable president that could start a nuclear war. Therefore, painting Clinton indirectly as a safe choice for president.

While I applaud the Clinton ad for its creativity bringing back that popular attack ad from 1964 and making it relevant to the 2016 campaign, I think the Trump ad was more effective. The Clinton ad fails to take into consideration that the president doesn’t declare war so therefore even if Trump turns out to be crazy and unpredictable he can’t just start a nuclear war by himself. I thought the ad was more humorous with that Daisy reference then serious and fear instilling. Trump’s ad appeals to the people by making his ad because his ad focuses on the people. He uses Clinton’s own generalized words to bite back at her when she made such rude comments about Trump’s supporters. Trump also showed why he should be president in his ad by portraying he wants to help the working class, unlike Clinton who didn’t make any direct appeals of why she would make a good president. Trump’s ad gave a message of what he was about while also attacking Clinton which gave the ad good balance. Clinton’s ad only tore down Trump making her the option people should pick by default rather than strengthening her appeal to the people. In my opinion Trump’s campaign made the more solid argument between these two ads because he actually made a case of why the show fits while telling why it doesn’t for Clinton directly. His ad tells his message directly the only thing it didn’t directly state was the call to action of telling people to go vote Trump. Clinton’s ad tells people directly they shouldn’t vote for Trump in less they want an unstable leader; people must infer for themselves that Clinton should be president as well as the call to action that they should go vote for Clinton.

Based on these two ads Trump ran the stronger campaign in my opinion because he directly appealed to a specific group of people, told them he was going to help them out, and Clinton was hateful towards him and what he stood for which in the case of this ads was the worker class.


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