Tracing the evolution of political advertising from 1952 through 2016, Darrell M. West returns with his much anticipated Seventh Edition of Air Wars: Television Advertising and Social Media in Election Campaigns, 1952-2016. Integrating the latest data and key events from the 2016 campaigns–including the most provocative presidential campaign in recent decades and the surprising victory of Donald Trump–West provides in-depth examination and insight into how candidates plan and execute advertising and social media campaigns, how the media covers these campaigns, and how American voters are ultimately influenced by them. This new edition includes coverage of social media campaigning, nano-targeting strategies in a fragmented electorate, and thorough analysis of the 2016 presidential campaign, from the candidates’ use of Twitter to concerns over falsehoods and deception, the impact of ads and debates on candidate perceptions, and the risks to democratic elections from new campaign developments.

The History of Communications

The History of Communications

The 2016 election took place against the backdrop of a recovering economy but a chaotic world scene. Voters faced a stark policy choice between Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump. After serving as Secretary of State to President Barack Obama, Clinton sought to frame the campaign as a contest between two radically different temperaments. Through advertisements, social media, and campaign appeals, she portrayed Trump as a divisive man who was too erratic to be president. If elected, she claimed, he would pose tremendous risks for the country and the world.

New communications technologies were a big part of the outreach. The media environment included old channels, such as newspapers, radio, and television, but also a dizzying array ...

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