Candidates’ ads have shown their muster

Clinton put her best foot forward on our various screens.

Anant Naik

Effective political advertisements have been crucial for major candidate wins during presidential elections. When Lyndon B. Johnson ran against Barry Goldwater in 1964, a brief and controversial TV advertisement by the name of “Daisy” demonstrated the power of political ads, invoking the fear of nuclear catastrophe.

The advertisement begins by showing the naivete of a young girl, Daisy, who is counting flower petals in a meadow. After a countdown, a nuclear explosion appears to decimate the area. The powerful imagery coupled with a concise message that a nuclear war would annihilate everything that we held valuable was enough to turn the tide against Goldwater.

The clear juxtaposition in ads during this past election was also interesting. Many of Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s hallmark advertisements, like “Mirrors,” contained few words, and were intended to convey party messages, but with powerful imagery and context.

On the other hand, many of the more sad political ads came out of Trump’s campaign. In a recent advertisement targeted toward Indian voters in the United States, video editing is shoddy, with seemingly no effort to create powerful imagery. That’s because a collage of images that are strung together without any real story doesn’t convey a powerful message.

Perhaps, though, that epitomizes the story of this election. If Trump actually stood for the working class, like he claims, there’s substance he could have drawn to construct iconic ads. Yet, a half-hearted, lackluster ad strategy is what represents the insular microcosm that is his campaign strategy.