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Television's First Political Spot Ad Campaign: Eisenhower Answers America

Stephen C. Wood
Presidential Studies Quarterly
Vol. 20, No. 2, Eisenhower Centennial Issue (Spring, 1990), pp. 265-283
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/27550614
Page Count: 19
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Television's First Political Spot Ad Campaign: Eisenhower Answers America
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Abstract

"Eisenhower Answers America" (1952) was the first political spot ad campaign broadcast on television. This research clarifies, amends and expands the accounts of this important first in televised politics. The widely accepted accounts by Barnouw, Mendelsohn and Crespi, Rubin, Mayer, Cotler, Greise, Lang and Lang and others all err either by omission or commission. Recent works on the history of political ads (Jamieson, 1984; Diamond and Bates, 1984) have turned to unpublished drafts of this research for resource material on "Eisenhower Answers America." By the addition of new primary material, this research supplements our knowledge of this important chapter in political broadcast history. Specifically, this research argues that the "Eisenhower Answers America" spot ad campaign was developed systematically and was based on political and advertising empiricism. Additionally, all the scripts from the ad campaign that were aired are included. No published research documents the entire campaign of 31 television spots.

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