chapter  3
15 Pages

Communicating with Voters: The Old Media

The overarching question for candidates and their campaign staffs is how they can wade through the clutter of offl ine and online communication to reach the right people, with the right message, at the right time, at an affordable price. For much of the second half of the twentieth century, candidates turned to television. Beginning with the early television commercials created by Madison Avenue agencies in 1952 for presidential candidates Dwight Eisenhower and Adlai Stevenson, television soon became the dominant means of communication for candidates for high offi ce.1 Radio and newspapers played important roles for political advertising, while newspapers and nightly local and national television newscasts were the main vehicles for informing the public about campaigns and elections. Direct mail marketing and telephone calls also became important tools of communication for candidates, particularly

for those many candidates who could not afford expensive television advertising.