Does advertising affect the outcome of presidential elections?
YES. Like it or not advertising affects how a consumer makes purchasing decisions.
For example, you’re at the grocery store. You compare Product A to Product B — identical in every aspect. You recall (perhaps subconsciously) a TV spot that claims that Product A is superior to other brands in its category. Voila, you purchase Product A. Not because it is better, but because, somewhere, someone told you that Product A is better than its competitors.
So could the same be true for how modern day Americans make their decision to “purchase” their president?
Assuming that television advertising is still the way that most voters receive information about presidential candidates, how much influence does this have on us? It seems that this is one arena where we are hard-pressed to find truth, where you get anecdotal bits and pieces, but never the whole factual picture.
If television advertising were taken out of the campaign equation, it would (hopefully) provoke voters to actively seek out each candidate’s campaign platform and make a well-informed decision based on research, facts and personal ideals.
Or would “herd mentality” take over? (Joe Neighbor is voting for Candidate X. And Joe’s a smart guy. Maybe I’ll vote for Candidate X too.)
This is a provocative question that begs for some thought. After all, we’re not making a decision about which toilet paper brand to purchase. We’re making a hiring decision for one of the most important jobs in our country.