…it might be because they aren’t even meant for you.
Rolling Stone Magazine has a really fantastic article which has a lot of great links…on the effectiveness of advertisements:
Which is to say, it [the ad's effectiveness] depends, most crucially, on which voters you’re targeting. Most voters are just not persuadable, period – they’re committed to one party or the other and virtually nothing is going to budge them. This is true even of so-called “independent” voters, who in fact tend to identify strongly with one party or the other; they’re independents in name only. True “swing” voters, people genuinely capable of changing their minds, and likely to do so, in the run-up to an election, are quite rare – just six per cent of Americans, or less than one-sixteenth of the electorate, according to a recent Washington Post/ABC News poll. Factor out the subset who live in solidly blue or red states (and consequently aren’t in any position to tip the election), and you’re left with about four percent of the voters in six states: 916,643 people, reckons political strategist Paul Begala.
Who are these swing voters? Well…
Another thing about these people: They’re “rather less knowledgeable about politics, and much more likely to say they follow news and public affairs ‘only now and then’ or ‘hardly at all,’” according to political scientists Larry Bartels and Lynn Vavreck (via the New Yorker‘s Elizabeth Kolbert). A lot of them won’t decide how they’ll vote until election day. Most of us are with Clive Crook: We can’t relate. “To voters who identify strongly with a political party, the undecided voter is almost an alien life form,” Louis Menand wrote in the New Yorker a few years ago. Undecided voters are influenced at the ballot box by all sorts of things, including, says a 2004 Princeton study cited by Menand, the weather.
The next time you see a political advertisement, imagine it is for the person in the described in the paragraph above. Does the advertisement make more sense now?
Categories: | Better Government | Media