Type of Commercial Real People
The Living Room Candidate - Transcript
"High Prices," Eisenhower, 1952
[TEXT: EISENHOWER answers AMERICA]
MALE NARRATOR: Eisenhower answers America.
WOMAN: You know what things cost today. High prices are just driving me crazy.
EISENHOWER: Yes, my Mamie gets after me about the high cost of living. It's another reason why I say it's time for a change, time to get back to an honest dollar and an honest dollar's worth.
"High Prices," Citizens for Eisenhower, 1952
Maker: Rosser Reeves for Ted Bates and Co.Video courtesy of the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library.
From Museum of the Moving Image, The Living Room Candidate: Presidential Campaign Commercials 1952-2012.
www.livingroomcandidate.org/commercials/1952/high-prices (accessed December 5, 2020).
If the candidate is usually the star of a commercial, then “real people” can serve as valuable extras. Sometimes they even find themselves in starring roles. These citizens represent the electorate, and they are used in commercials to show that the candidate is in touch with their concerns and feelings—or that the opponent is not.
Basically, there are two types of “real people” spots: one shows the candidate directly interacting with one or more people, in a situation that looks as candid and unrehearsed as possible; and the other uses man-in-the-street testimonials in documentary-style scenes of supposedly genuine off-the-cuff reactions.