The school year is in full swing, and The LAMP is proud to be back at PS241 STEM Institute of Manhattan for another year. Also in full swing is the New York City mayoral election, and our students will be taking a closer look at campaign ads this semester and creating their very own ads for mayor.
On Tuesday, October 15, the students watched a few campaign ads, past and present, including this one:
The students ate it up, as presumably did most voters in 1952. The students were dancing in their seats and singing along by the end. Afterwards, however, the students were surprisingly quick to unpack the ad. The message of the ad was obvious to most of the students: vote ‘Ike’ for president.
What types of persuasive techniques did the ad use to convey that message? One student noticed how repetitive the ad was, with ‘I Like Ike’ still reverberating around the classroom. The song was really catchy, observed another student. Also, the students were able to pick out the various cartoon figures in the ad – the chef, the nurse, farmer, cowboy, train conductor, fireman, painter, and the proud parents.
They could see that the ad was targeting all kinds of citizens, and implying that all Americans ‘like Ike’. But where were the issues and the mudslinging?
The students pointed out that the ad didn’t talk about any of the candidate’s ideas, but that it also didn’t insult anyone like the ads they were used to seeing on TV.
There was one final thing about the ad that all the children could agree on: ‘Ike’ is a lot easier to say than ‘Eisenhower’.