Do Online Advertisements Increase Political Candidates’ Name Recognition or Favorability? Evidence from Randomized Field Experiments

Do Online Advertisements Increase Political Candidates’ Name Recognition or Favorability?... Internet advertisements are an increasingly common form of mass communication and present fresh opportunities for understanding enduring questions about political persuasion. However, the effects of online ads on electoral choice have received little scholarly attention. We develop a new field experimental approach for assessing the effects of online advertisements and deploy it in two studies. In each study, candidates for legislative office targeted randomly selected segments of their constituencies for a high volume of Facebook advertising. Recall of the ads, candidate name recognition, and candidate evaluations were measured with ostensibly unrelated telephone surveys after weeklong advertising campaigns. Voters randomly exposed to the ads were in some cases more likely to recall them but no more likely to recognize or positively evaluate the candidates they depicted. From a theoretical standpoint, these findings suggest that even frequent exposure to advertising messages may be insufficient to impart new information or change attitudes. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Political Behavior Springer Journals

Do Online Advertisements Increase Political Candidates’ Name Recognition or Favorability? Evidence from Randomized Field Experiments

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Publisher
Springer US
Copyright
Copyright © 2013 by The Author(s)
Subject
Social Sciences, general; Political Science, general; Sociology, general
ISSN
0190-9320
eISSN
1573-6687
D.O.I.
10.1007/s11109-013-9239-z
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Internet advertisements are an increasingly common form of mass communication and present fresh opportunities for understanding enduring questions about political persuasion. However, the effects of online ads on electoral choice have received little scholarly attention. We develop a new field experimental approach for assessing the effects of online advertisements and deploy it in two studies. In each study, candidates for legislative office targeted randomly selected segments of their constituencies for a high volume of Facebook advertising. Recall of the ads, candidate name recognition, and candidate evaluations were measured with ostensibly unrelated telephone surveys after weeklong advertising campaigns. Voters randomly exposed to the ads were in some cases more likely to recall them but no more likely to recognize or positively evaluate the candidates they depicted. From a theoretical standpoint, these findings suggest that even frequent exposure to advertising messages may be insufficient to impart new information or change attitudes.

Journal

Political BehaviorSpringer Journals

Published: Jun 21, 2013

References

  • A 61-million-person experiment in social influence and political mobilization
    Bond, RM; Fariss, CJ; Jones, JJ; Adam, DI; Kramer, CM; Settle, JE; Fowler, JH

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