Analyzing the Ads: Experts Weigh In On Statewide Campaign Commercials< < Back to
Numerous candidates for statewide offices are using "soft spots" this election season, featuring their children and catchy slogans. But, there is a deeper meaning behind these ads and some say they can tell us a lot about the election.
This election season, three candidates used their children as key players in their campaign commericials.
Professor of Marketing at the Ohio State University, Dr. Rao Unnava, said this serves a specific purpose.
“There’s always a worry in politicians’ minds that they’re out-of-touch, or at least they’re being perceived as out-of-touch," he said. "To avoid that, they try to humanize their campaigns. I’m more like you. I have a family. I have children. So, I see the issues that you’re seeing and I can actually respond to them.”
Another trend in this year's batch of ads are catch phrases, a delibrate and influential marketing techinique.
“There are so many names floating around that people have a hard time remembering the names in a campaign," Unnava said. "So when they go to the voting booth, they look at all the names and if they don’t recall who’s whom…they don’t know whom to vote for."
Conservative political strategist, Neil Clark, said he has never seen ads like these so close to the election. Typically, candidates would have more hard-hitting commercials that mention their opponents.
Clark said these "soft spots" could have consequences come Election Day.
"Normally in Ohio, in the last five election cycles, the voter turnout ranged from 47 to 52 percent," he said. "If this is below 47, it'll tell you that these "soft spots" really didn't get people excited to go out to vote."
Election Day is November 4.