Fear is a tool that has been used by politicians and organization’s to sway the American people’s votes. This tool has been used in televised political advertisements in the past and today. The use of fear in political ads make them very memorable, and those memories can stay in the voter’s minds to Election Day.
There is a constant reminder in current ads on television about the threats facing our society and how candidates will or will not protect us. These are effective tools when trying to sway votes to or away from a specific candidate. Television advertisements are especially effective because of their ability to show images that will create an emotional connection. “The primitive nature of fear means that it can be triggered most powerfully not by wordy arguments but by images that make a beeline for the brain’s emotion regions.”
Here are a couple of examples of fear based television advertisements:
This first ad is a current ad that is being ran about Mark Udall that was paid for by Freedom’s Watch.
This next ad is an ad from 1964 called the “Daisy Girl Ad”
Both of these ads have very strong messages of fear, and are very effective in clearly conveying those messages. They are both very relevant to the threats facing society in the times that they were created.
These advertisements prey on the worst fears of many American’s, and are intended to do so. “Fear makes people more likely to go to the polls and vote, which reflects the power of negative emotions in general.” Both the ad against mark Udall and the “Daisy Girl Ad” discredit a specific candidate’s abilities (based on whether it was for or against the candidate) to protect the country and the American people from the threats that are facing them. If someone is afraid that their leader will be unable to protect their family from these threats, then that will drive their vote in the voting booth on Election Day. If it is fear that brings them to the polls, then the American people are going to vote for the person that they think is going to protect them.
The use of fear as a political tool in televised advertisements is an effective tool that makes the televised ads very memorable and brings the voters to the polls to vote based on the issues as well as candidates portrayed in those ads.