American Political Marketing
By: Richard Stegeman
The world’s political climate is shaped largely by media and the global populations’ access to that media. Over the last century the world has seen the invention of the television and the internet, social media, and sophisticated marketing. Some have called it propaganda, and whether or not it truly is propaganda, the idea of influencing the voter through media available is not new, but becoming more and more sophisticated.
When President Barack Obama was elected in 2008 many political strategists credited his win with a strong media presence. I think also that his campaign logo and slogan of “hope” gave him a sharper edge. What has become a trend over the years in American campaigning is addressing the candidates themselves like products on a shelf. The same psychology that has gone into mass marketing is now being applied to the American political system. What makes people choose? Color, typography, subliminal messages, logos, and branding can all now be found in many political campaigns.
This method of marketing is also applicable to political ideologies as well as the candidates. A good example of this is the “Support our Troops” campaign. When many Americans disagreed with the war in Iraq the “support our troops” campaign allowed people to voice their disagreement with the war but their loyalty to American troops.
In my thesis I will explore the use of marketing and media in American politics and the psychology behind what makes people attracted to certain political candidates over others, or one political idea over another.
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