Political Ad Analysis Worksheet
©2004 by Frank Baker, revised 2015   (for use as a HANDOUT, print  as  LANDSCAPE or HORIZONTAL )
Teachers: Have your students view a campaign commercial first with no instruction. Next, distribute this page as a handout.
Assign different students one of the columns; play the ad again. Have each student report and share their observations. 

the ad was seen/heard (social media, TV, radio)
the ad aired: if broadcast
who is targeted
see list below
candidate, party, Super PAC

see list below


see list below

(listed below)
Ad #1
Ad #2
Ad #3
Types of Political ads :
Negative – One candidate portrays the other in an unfavorable ligh
Warm and Fuzzy – Candidates make the viewer feel good about the country or his/her campaign.
Biography & Vision: emphasize the candidate’s life or “vision” for America
Humorous – Candidates elicit a laugh or smile from the viewer.
Scary – Candidates evoke images of fear (usually combined with a Negative ad)
Advocacy- advocates for/against a certain position(s) on an issue/person
Trust:  seek to convince voters that the candidate is someone they can trust to lead them during challenging times
* Things to pay attention to:
Superimposed Words
Props       Code Words
People     Music
Symbols  Clothing
Techniques:  Appeals to fear/prejudice; bandwagon; card stacking; fancy figures; flattery/insincerity;
glittering generality; image transfer; loaded words; name calling; negativity; inferences as facts; quotes out of context; repetition; rumor mongering; warm and fuzzy image; catchy words/phrases
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