ERIC Number: ED049604
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1971-Apr
Reference Count: 0
Electronic Politics and the Voter: Conventional Wisdom and Empirical Evidence.
Atkin, Charles K.; And Others
The effects of spot television commercials during political campaigns were studied. A telephone survey was conducted to see what effect such commercials had on voters in the 1970 Wisconsin and Colorado gubernatorial elections. The results showed that this approach is the most efficient way of reaching a vast majority of the electorate, although it may not reach voters who are politically uninterested or who are light television viewers. Frequency of presentation has a direct impact on frequency of viewer exposure but has no effect on the viewer's level of attention. Quality of presentation (whether the ads are perceived as informative, interesting, honest, entertaining, and professionally produced) combines with audience characteristics (personal interest, partisan preferences, and need for knowledge and enjoyment) to determine attention and information gain. These content factors then work indirectly to influence voting decisions or produce shifts in voting intentions. Based on this analysis, the most effective advertising strategy would be one that allocates campaign funds away from a high frequency of exposure into a more modest number of ads which contain substantive information content and are presented in an interesting and entertaining manner. (Author/JK)
Publication Type: N/A
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Wisconsin Univ., Madison. School of Journalism and Mass Communication.
Identifiers: Colorado; Wisconsin
Note: Paper presented at the International Communication Association Annual Conference (Phoenix, Arizona, April 22-24, 1971)