Lessons from US presidential TV commercials

The independent video Yes We Can (Web) setting one of Obama’s slogans to music, was a viral video hit, viewed online by more than 20 million people. View it at The Living Room Candidate. This fantastic site contains more than 300 commercials, from every presidential election since 1952, “when Madison Avenue advertising executive Rosser Reeves convinced Dwight Eisenhower that short ads played during such popular TV programs as I Love Lucy would reach more voters than any other form of advertising”.

For high school teachers and students the site has eight lessons. The first one on understanding the language of political ads will make students understand the nature and uses of language in presidential ads, and make them aware of the ways in which this language can be used to influence viewer opinion. I wish I would have had this opportunity at my high school in Schiedam, see the heading of this blog.

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