Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

THE RACE TO THE WHITE HOUSE

New Political Ad Stars: Nobodies

September 05, 2004|From Associated Press

NEW YORK — Testimonial ads are nothing new in the political world. High-profile surrogates or supportive celebrities often film commercials endorsing a candidate, hoping voters will follow their leads.

Those have been rare this year. But quite a few ads have featured everyday Americans testifying about the state of the nation, as strategists seek to make politics -- and the presidential election -- personal through campaign commercials.

Such "real people" or "man-on-the-street" ads are popping up more on the Democratic side than on the Republican side.

Little evidence exists that testimonial ads of any sort are successful in persuading voters. But people who have studied political ads said personal accounts from "regular Joes" were likely to be more effective than star-studded spots because the average voter could relate to them.

"If you have an ordinary person testifying to a person's virtue or vice, their opinion can be very credible," said Darrell West, who teaches about political ads at Brown University.

"People want to feel connected, and if it's personal to them and they can grasp it, that can be very effective."

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|