Identifier

etd-04132015-121922

Degree

Master of Mass Communication (MMC)

Department

Mass Communication

Document Type

Thesis

Abstract

Using an experimental survey design, this study evaluated an advertising campaign developed by the College Republican National Committee targeting Millennials in the 2014 midterm elections. Three particular advertisements from “Operation Red Campus” were selected and tested using a pre-survey and two post-surveys. Due to data constraints, only the results of the first post-survey were used in this analysis. This campaign was designed in response to the Republican Party’s continued problems of low youth turnout and poor party perceptions. This thesis analyzes the effectiveness of the strategies employed by the CRNC to target 18-24-year-olds with this campaign, adding to the limited body of literature on the subject. Following the pre-survey, respondents were exposed to randomized clips of one of the randomized CRNC advertisements or a control advertisement for the television show from which they were based. I hypothesized that respondents would be able to identify that the ads in the treatment condition were political in nature and that those exposed to the treatments would exude more positive views of the Republican Party and less positive views of Democrats. Findings showed that while the CRNC advertisements did significantly decrease Democratic favorability, there was no significant change among Republicans. Additionally, the results showed that the ads produced no change in voting behavior toward Democrats but significantly changed voting behaviors away from the Republican Party. The implications of these findings are analyzed and discussed.

Date

2015

Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Mann, Christopher

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