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.

Effective Ads and Social Media Promotion

Effective Ads and Social Media Promotion

Political messages are fascinating not only because of the way they are put together but also because of their ability to influence voters. People are not equally susceptible to the media, and political observers have long tried to find out how media power actually operates.1 Consultants judge the effectiveness of ads and social media outreach by the ultimate results—who wins. This type of test, however, is never possible to complete until after the election. It leads invariably to the immutable law of communications: Winners have great ads and tweets, losers do not.

As an alternative, journalists evaluate communications by asking voters to indicate whether commercials influenced them. When asked directly whether television commercials helped ...

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