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Air Wars


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Table of Contents

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

About the Author

Darrell M. West is the Vice President of Governance Studies and Director of the Center for Technology Innovation at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C. He is the author of 22 books, including Megachange: Economic Disruption, Political Upheaval, and Social Strife in the 21st Century and Billionaires: Reflections on the Upper Crust.


"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
"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
"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

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