Welcome to the blog of the University of Nebraska Campaign Ads Project (UNeCAP). UNeCAP is the umbrella for a team of Communication and Political Science researchers at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln studying the evolution of national presidential campaign advertisements from 1952 to the present. Led by Dr. Dana Griffin (Political Science) and Dr. Damien Smith Pfister (Communication), this research group considers how campaign advertisements changed over this time. Have they addressed different issues? Have they become shorter? Have they become jumpier? Have they begun to represent a more diverse population? Have they decreased their use of evidenced argument? These questions, among others, prompted our investigation into this project.
Funded by a generous Maude Hammond Fling Faculty Research Fellowship from the UNL Research Council, UNeCAP researched ads from the Museum of the Moving Image and assembled a dataset that coded for a number of diverse features: visual images, myths, emotion, evidence, issues, demographics, and much, much more. Our hope is that this dataset--which we are making publicly accessible as an SPSS .sav file (and, soon, an .xls file)--will further the study of political communication from an interdisciplinary vantage point.
This blog will serve as a site for the UNeCAP team to publicize some long term trends in the context of the 2012 election cycle. As the national Presidential campaign moves into the general election, we will use this forum to situate the contemporary advertisements within a larger historical context. We intend to offer incisive analysis and many pretty graphs that illustrate long term trends and discontinuities in national Presidential campaign advertisements.
The UNeCAP Team (left to right):
Jessy J. Ohl is a Ph.D student in the Department of Communication Studies at UNL. His research interests include the rhetoric of war in the digital age and the role of myth in political discourse.
Dr. Damien Smith Pfister is an assistant professor in the Department of Communication Studies at UNL. His research interests include political communication, networked communication technologies, and public deliberation.
Dr. Dana Griffin is an assistant professor in the Department of Political Science at UNL. Her research interests include political psychology, political decision-making, elite communications, and media effects.
Marty Nader is a PhD candidate in the Department of Political Science at UNL. His research interests include campaigns and elections, the Presidency, Congress, public opinion, religion and politics, and U.S. foreign policy.