A collection of more than 400 commercials from every U.S. presidential race since the inception of televised campaign advertising, “The Living Room Candidate” now includes Democrat and Republican ads from the current election cycle.
“The Living Room Candidate” was first published in 2000, and has served as a digital database for journalists, scholars, teachers and students nationwide. For the 2020 edition, the website was reformatted with an updated video player, making it easier to share content.
This year’s relaunch is also accompanied by a scholarly essay called “Hitting the Spot: How TV Advertising Remade American Politics,” which deals with the history of campaign advertising.
Author Kathryn Cramer Brownell, who is the exhibition’s consulting curator, explores technological and ideological parallels between today's campaign and the Eisenhower campaign in 1952, which marked the beginning of televised campaign ads. It is posted on MoMI’s online publication “Reverse Shot.”
In addition to the essay, Brownell will also maintain a corresponding blog with analysis and insights into the use of political advertising during the 2020 campaigns.
On October 15, MoMI will infuse context into the exhibition with a live online discussion, moderated by Brownell, featuring media, politics and history experts versed in the subject of election advertising.
Panelists include Purdue University Professor Nadia E. Brown; Stanford University Professor Leo Chavez; Nicole Hemmer, associate research scholar with the Obama Presidency Oral History project; and David Schwartz, Manager of Theatrical Programming at Netflix and founding curator of “The Living Room Candidate.”
“The Living Room Candidate” is now on view at livingroomcandidate.org