If you believe the commentators, the 2015 general election marks the death of political advertising. As a case in point, there was more fanfare over John Lewis’ Christmas ad than the campaign launches of the two main parties. But what about the much-derided party political broadcast? Has social media killed it off too? Or – like Trevor Beattie sounding the death knell of the 30-second ad – are rumours of its demise exaggerated?
Research we carried out suggests that party political ads are alive, well and still carry considerable influence over viewers’ perceptions of political brands. Using brain-imaging technology to measure how the brain responds to communications, we investigated viewers’ subconscious responses to two key election broadcasts: Labour’s Martin Freeman endorsement ad and a party political broadcast by the Conservatives, which aired at the same time. While neither party broadcast was an out-and-out triumph or disaster, both ads featured key “hits” and “misses”. This underlines the influence political broadcasts can still exert at a crucial time for both parties. These centred on two key areas: first, the ads’ protagonists and, second, their production. To read more please click here