Video Rhetorics

Televised Advertising in American Politics
Author: John S. Nelson and G. R. Boynton
Paper – $35
Publication Date
Paperback: 01/01/1997
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About the Book

The aim of this book is to teach us how to better understand political ads (telespots) by attuning ourselves to their video rhetoric--their themes and stories, atmosphere and characterization, feelings and images, and their use of popular genres--from film to fiction, from MTV to game shows. Video Rhetorics is both a call for, and an example of, a new kind of political analysis.

Supplemented with Hot Spots: Multimedia Analyses of Political Ads, a sixty-minute video of multimedia advertising studies, the book presents lucid analyses of particular campaign ads to illustrate how music, text, metaphor, genre, image, color, delivery, tempo, and location all combine to "orchestrate" political meaning. The authors also show readers how to comprehend dynamics of contemporary political life that remain mysterious within traditional accounts of how citizens learn about politics. In the authors' view, electronic politics is here to stay, like it or not, and we cannot afford simply to dismiss or condemn political ads.