The Mass Marketing of Politics demonstrates how The United States' contemporary political system is driven by marketing, not ideology, with an emphasis on image over substance, personality over issues, and thirty second sound bites over meaningful dialogue. This book details how tactics are being used to determine public opinion, win votes and shape public policy in the White House and Congress. The book points out the pitfalls of relying too heavily on marketing as a campaign and governance tool, and offers alternatives. The Mass Marketing of Politics is provocative and essential reading for anyone interested in North American politics, marketing, political communication, and media studies.

From Party Politics to Mass Marketing

From party politics to mass marketing

Politics is the art of acquiring, holding, and wielding power.

—Indira Gandhi, 1975

If we look at presidential elections before 1952, politics operated on the principle of machine politics. Party bosses in smoke-filled back rooms would choose the candidates and decide the platforms. Candidates then relied on the national party organization and help from local and state party officials to coordinate their campaigns. One-to-one contact with the voters usually was orchestrated by the political party in each community and consisted of glad-handing events.

The emergence of television was the first opportunity for candidates to develop campaign platforms that revolved around the crafting of political images. Visual aids allowed candidates to craft careful images of themselves that would ...

  • Loading...
locked icon

Sign in to access this content

Get a 30 day FREE TRIAL

  • Watch videos from a variety of sources bringing classroom topics to life
  • Read modern, diverse business cases
  • Explore hundreds of books and reference titles