INNOVATIVE will be testing political ads throughout the 2015 election campaign. In our first release we have tested the TV ads that aired in the months leading up to the writ drop.
Political ads serve two key purposes; they can motivate the sponsor party’s supporters to vote and they can persuade target voters to vote for the sponsor party. Ads accomplish these goals through two mechanisms; they can “prime” or raise awareness of something people already know or feel that gives the sponsor party an advantage over its competitors or the ads can “persuade” by providing new information or framing existing information in a new light to change how people feel about the sponsor party and/or its opponents.
Do political ads really work? Answering that question involves addressing two key challenges:
We will use the following approach to test political ads throughout the campaign:
The key test is whether people who are seeing the ad for the first time change their responses on the pre/post test. Does the ad “move the numbers”. We then use the diagnostic questions to understand why the numbers are moving.
It is important to understand that an ad can make a positive difference to a campaign even if people say they don’t like it. For instance, people may say they don’t like an ad that provides negative information about another party, but if they feel the information is credible and informative, it can still move the numbers.
NDP – Bring change to Ottawa
Liberal – True Story
Liberal – Enjoying the Playoffs
Conservative – The Interview
Conservative – Proven Leadership
Engage Canada – Neglect
Working Canadians- Middle class