“Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.”
Benjamin Franklin

Despite all of the recent advances in digital communication, television is still arguably the most important medium for political communication in the world today. Because of this, scholars of political communication have long studied the medium and its impact on the political process.

This project, in which students make commercials for a fictitious presidential campaign, shifts students from being passive observers of campaigns to being active and motivated persuaders. I have assigned this project consistently since 2002 and students tell me that nothing is more effective at driving home the power and limitations of this form of political discourse. They also tell me that they have become much more sophisticated consumers of advertising (and news, in fact) after having made their own ads.


Comm Studies 160 Political Communication Commercial Project

Sample Projects

This page has a collection of notable student projects from recent classes.

Complete collections of all student projects

These videos are H.264 encoded rips of the hour-long class DVDs given to each student at the completion of the project. These are LARGE files (around 300MB) and are best viewed with Quicktime.

Reid vs. Haley

Webb vs. Daniels

Baucus vs. McCarthy

Ryan vs. Landrieu

Spring 2009

Cantor vs. Bayh

Spring 2008

Thompson vs. Dodd

Winter 2008

McCain vs. Richardson

Fall 2006

Romney vs. Biden

Fall 2005

Rice vs. HR Clinton

Spring 2005

Rice vs. HR Clinton

Winter 2004

Cheney vs. Lieberman

Fall 2002

Hatch vs. Bradley