In my Sunday column, I noted that the television advertising from both presidential candidates and their supporters has been dominated by negative messages -- because research has shown that negative ads have a bigger impact on voters than positive ads.
A team of researchers at Vanderbilt University found one ad was particularly effective, in part because it was so memorable: an Obama campaign’s commercial that used Mitt Romney’s off-key rendition of “America the Beautiful” as the soundtrack for a negative message about Romney’s business career.
But Republicans have gotten nasty too. This ad, from the independent GOP group called American Crossroads, ruthlessly edits Obama’s careless statement that entrepreneurs didn’t build their businesses alone, but takes a bit of the sting away with visual humor.
Here’s Obama’s rebuttal:
A negative ad doesn’t have to be mean to be effective, though. This ad may be the most effective Republican commercial on the air right now, in part because its charges aren’t over-the-top -- but mostly because of its pointed punchline: “It’s okay to make a change.”