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Was it always this bad? 50+ years of political ads [videos]

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If you have the misfortune of living in a swing state this election season, we deeply sympathize with you as the TV political ad wars rage in anticipation of this November’s election, but thanks to The Living Room Candidate, you can take a break from today’s slug fest and revel in the rivalries of yesteryear.

In a media-saturated environment in which news, opinions, and entertainment surround us all day on our television sets, computers, and cell phones, the television commercial remains the one area where presidential candidates have complete control over their images. Television commercials use all the tools of fiction filmmaking, including script, visuals, editing, and performance, to distill a candidate’s major campaign themes into a few powerful images. Ads elicit emotional reactions, inspiring support for a candidate or raising doubts about his opponent. While commercials reflect the styles and techniques of the times in which they were made, the fundamental strategies and messages have tended to remain the same over the years.

We’ll let you be the judge of whether things have gotten better or worse through the years, though.

Dwight Eisenhower, 1952

Lyndon Johnson, 1964

Ronald Reagan, 1980

Bill Clinton, 1992

Full story at The Living Room Candidate via Good.is.

The power of advertising.

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