Obama Ad Primes the Supermarket Scanner from Campaign Lore while McCain Returns to the Wolves Metaphor
Matthew C. Nisbet, Ph.D. is Associate Professor of Communication Studies, Public Policy, and Urban Affairs at Northeastern University. Nisbet studies the role of communication and advocacy in policymaking and public affairs, focusing on debates over over climate change, energy, and sustainability. Among awards and recognition, Nisbet has been a Visiting Shorenstein Fellow on Press, Politics, and Public Policy at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government, a Health Policy Investigator at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and a Google Science Communication Fellow. In 2011, the editors at the journal Nature recommended Nisbet's research as “essential reading for anyone with a passing interest in the climate change debate,” and the New Republic highlighted his work as a “fascinating dissection of the shortcomings of climate activism."
As I wrote last month, one key advertising strategy for the Obama campaign is to use aspects of McCain's background along with his media gaffes to paint the Republican nominee as out of touch with the economy and with average Americans. As I wrote, it's a strategy that worked effectively for the Clinton campaign in 1992, an angle that was fueled by George H.W. Bush's repeated missteps, notably the moment when on a campaign stop at a supermarket the former President appeared to have never seen a check out scanner before.
Now in a new ad released today (above), the Obama campaign uses McCain's admission that he doesn't know how to use a computer or the Internet as another signal of how out-of-touch (and how old) he might be. (Notice also the footage of McCain riding in a golf cart with former President Bush.)
The McCain team has their own priming strategy at work in an ad released yesterday. They take off the shelf the proven Republican metaphor of a "bear in the woods" or the "wolves ready to attack" (see this post) and apply the metaphor in alleging sexism on the part of Obama (ad below). The advertisement triggers both race and gender stereotypes while making several false claims, as FactCheck.org reports.
In a response Web clip, the Democratic National Committee makes the comparison between the Bush "wolves" ad and McCain's latest use of the metaphor, linking it back to their preferred theme of "more of the same" from McCain (See below).
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