Monday, October 20, 2008

Obama using old and new media advertising methods

For months, both presidential candidates have been using short television, radio and Internet advertisements to woo voters. But soon Americans will be able to catch a longer message from Democrat Barack Obama in the form of a 30-minute television ad.

The Obama campaign has purchased half-hour time slots for the evening of October 29 on at least two national networks. The 8 p.m. slot will allow his campaign to produce an uninterrupted, detailed message to voters. Obama is not the first presidential candidate to try this tactic. One of the first half-hour political commercials was given by then vice presidential candidate Richard Nixon in 1952, in what later became referred to as the “Checkers” speech. The last candidate to take this approach was Independent Ross Perot in 1992.

The Obama campaign also is trying some new advertising methods. Those who watch satellite television provided by the Dish Network might have channel-surfed past channel 073-00, the “Obama Channel.” The channel, paid for by the Democratic candidate’s campaign, airs Obama advertising 24 hours a day. And those playing video games on the popular Xbox system might notice something interesting on their screen – advertisements for Obama. Xbox users have spotted Obama billboards in racing games and Obama messages on scoreboards in football games.

Candidates use advertising tools as a way to “brand” themselves to voters.


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