Monday, December 2, 2019

Watch the Evolution of Campaign Commercials on The Living Room Candidate

I did a lot of driving and sitting in traffic in snowy conditions today  so I had a lot of time to listen to podcasts. The first that I listened to was Joe Rogan's podcast with Tulsi Gabbard and Jocko Willink. The second was the Meat Eater Podcast with Steve Rinella. Both podcasts veered into talking about how political campaigns have changed over time. Rinella's podcast featured interesting stories about Davy Crockett as a politician. Listening to those podcasts reminded me of The Living Room Candidate website.

The Living Room Candidate is part of a larger project called the Museum of the Moving Image. Visitors to The Living Room Candidate can view the commercials from each campaign from both parties. A written transcript is provided with each commercial. Provided along with each video is an overview of the political landscape of at the time of the campaigns. Visitors to the website can search for commercials by election year, type of commercial, or by campaign issue.

The Living Room Candidate is a site that I've used since 2008. Unfortunately, while the collection of videos has been updated, the site still relies on Flash. Fortunately, most of the videos are available on two YouTube channels. The playlist from the Museum of the Moving Image contains eleven videos. There's also this playlist put together by Karen Zeller.


Applications for Education
The Living Room Candidate has a great tool for students called The Living Room Candidate Ad Maker. The Ad Maker can be used by students to remix old advertisements, sound bites, and images to create new campaign commercials. The teachers page on The Living Room Candidate offers nine lesson plans for teaching about the historical context of campaigns, analyzing campaign ads, and creating new campaign ads.