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Air Wars
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Air Wars
Television Advertising and Social Media in Election Campaigns, 1952-2016

Seventh Edition


March 2017 | 192 pages | CQ Press
Tracing the evolution of political advertising from 1952 through 2016, Darrell M. West returns with his much anticipated Seventh Edition of Air Wars: Television Advertising and Social Media in Election Campaigns, 1952-2016. Integrating the latest data and key events from the 2016 campaigns—including the most provocative presidential campaign in recent decades and the surprising victory of Donald Trump—West provides in-depth examination and insight into how candidates plan and execute advertising and social media campaigns, how the media covers these campaigns, and how American voters are ultimately influenced by them.

This new edition includes coverage of social media campaigning, nano-targeting strategies in a fragmented electorate, and thorough analysis of the 2016 presidential campaign, from the candidates’ use of Twitter to concerns over falsehoods and deception, the impact of ads and debates on candidate perceptions, and the risks to democratic elections from new campaign developments.

FREE POSTER: Fact or Fiction? Use this checklist to avoid the pitfalls posed by the rise of fake news

 
Tables
 
Preface
 
Pictorial History
 
1. The History of Communications
From Newspapers and Television to the Internet and Social Media

 
Broadcasting Strategies

 
Narrowcasting

 
Microcasting

 
Nanocasting

 
Conclusion

 
 
2. Effective Ads and Social Media Promotion
Principles of Advertising

 
Production Techniques

 
The Role of Money and Super PACs

 
Effective Tweeting

 
Third-Party Validation

 
Conclusion

 
 
3. Buying Air Time and Using Social Media
The Strategies of Ad Buying

 
The Study of Ad Buys

 
Ad Frequency and Diversification

 
Vapor Ads

 
Social Media Outreach

 
Targeting Strategies

 
Conclusion

 
 
4. Messages
Substantive Content

 
Prominent Ads

 
The Paucity of Policy Appeals

 
Shifts Over Time

 
The Rise of Internet Sites

 
The Rise of Negative Advertising

 
The Objects of Negativity

 
Conclusion

 
 
5. Media Coverage
The Increasing Coverage of Ads

 
Horse-Race Coverage of Ads

 
“Daisy,” “Daisy II,” and the “Revolving Door”

 
Swift Boat Veterans Ads

 
2008 Ads

 
2012 Ads

 
2016 Ads

 
Conclusion

 
 
6. Learning About the Candidates
Citizens’ Knowledge and Evaluations of Candidates

 
The Impact of the Campaign

 
Ads and the Vote

 
Conclusion

 
 
7. Setting the Agenda
The Media’s Role in Agenda Setting

 
Policy and Campaign Components of the Agenda

 
The Influence of Individual Ads

 
A Fixed Agenda

 
A Fluid Agenda

 
It’s Still the Economy, Stupid!

 
Shifting the Focus

 
A Chaotic World

 
Conclusion

 
 
8. Playing the Blame Game
Blame Dukakis

 
Blame Bush

 
Blame Terrorists

 
Blame Bush and McCain

 
Blame Romney

 
Blame the Establishment

 
Conclusion

 
 
9. Communications in Congressional Elections
Features of Congressional Campaigns

 
Historical Congressional Ads

 
Clinton Versus Giuliani and Lazio in 2000

 
2008 Senate Campaigns

 
2012 House and Senate Campaigns

 
2016 House and Senate Campaigns

 
Conclusion

 
 
10. Communications and Democratic Elections
Democratic Expectations

 
The Risk of Manipulation

 
The Importance of Fact-Checking

 
Lessons of Campaign Communications

 
Slicing and Dicing the Electorate

 
What Can Be Done

 
Conclusion

 
 
Appendix: Memorable Ads, 1984–2016
 
Notes
 
Index
 
About the Author

Air Wars has always helped my students develop a better understanding of the traditional political communication theories. West does a great job with the coverage of traditional advertising methods and historical ads.”

Heather Evans
Sam Houston State University

Air Wars is a remarkably valuable text for those who are interested in learning about paid media advertising in American election campaigns. West does an admirable job of devoting attention to all aspects of the advertising process: the behind the scenes strategic considerations of the producers, the coverage by the news media, as well as their effects on the audience. Air Wars has become a permanent part of my Media and Politics course because of its thorough examination of the role played by paid media in modern campaigns.”

Robert Dion
University of Evansville

Air Wars is an engaging and well-written book on campaigns and campaign effects. It provides a comprehensive examination of television advertising in election campaigns. In particular, West supports his discussion of agenda-setting and priming, which is among the clearest I have read, with relevant examples from both historical and recent campaigns.”

Matthew Eshbaugh-Soha
University of North Texas
Key features
NEW TO THIS EDITION:
  • New examples and coverage of how Donald Trump’s campaign surprised the experts, why Hillary Clinton lost the Electoral College despite outspending Trump on advertising, the ever-increasing use and impact of social media, and the challenges posed by the spread of misinformation and fake news provide students with a thorough understanding of key issues in the how contemporary campaigns are planned, executed, and covered.
  • New case studies of 2016 presidential and congressional campaign ads offer insight into the impact of advertising on elections.
KEY FEATURES:
  • A History in Pictures features an array of ad stills–from Lyndon Johnson's shocking "Daisy" ad in 1964 to ads the Clinton and Trump campaigns ran in the most recent election.
  • An Appendix of Memorable Ads, 1984–2016, lets students read through and analyze narrated comments.
  • An Overview Chapter outlines advertising principles as well as how ads are put together and financed.
  • Conclusion sections at the end of chapters summarize key takeaway points.

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 1

Chapter 2


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