2016 Presidential Campaign Ad Analyses

The Ernest Becker Foundation is proud to present the following analyses by Terror Management Students. These students have applied the previously identified Becker-themed common motifs in political advertising to develop their interpretations. We publish these students’ analyses with gratitude for their interest. We invite our community members interested in this project to develop their own political ad analyses.

Still from Trump ad

Donald Trump: “Two Americas”

This advertisement for Donald Trump’s presidential campaign compares two hypothetical American futures.

Analysis by Tyler Jimenez

Still from Trump ad

Donald Trump: “Donald Trump’s America”

In this political ad, the director contrasts different visions of America under the two main presidential candidates.

Analysis by Chad Yen Analysis by Johnathan Cannon Analysis by Caroline Findlay

Still from Clinton's Stand with Hillary ad

Hillary Clinton: Stand with Hillary Ad

Political ads have played a prominent role in many elections as the way to reach voters and guide them to the politicians’ side. We see them on our televisions and they slowly creep into our unconscious to sway our vote one way or the other.

Analysis by Kate Suazo


Still from Trump's Jas Shaw ad

Donald Trump: Jas Shaw Ad

This promotional, 30-second, Trump-sponsored ad begins by showing a young American boy who had been killed by a nameless illegal immigrant.

Analysis by Sarab Khalsa Analysis by Dezlie Gibo

Still from Clinton's "Role Models" ad

Hillary Clinton: “Role Models”

Hillary Clinton’s campaign ad starts out by showing a very simple house with a sunset in the background with mellow music playing. Then Donald Trump’s voice comes out of nowhere and it shows a child watching TV.

Analysis by Jessica Laskowitz


Hillary Clinton: “Sacrifice”

In a recent advertisement sponsored by Hillary Clinton’s campaign titled “Sacrifice,” we see several veterans watching Donald Trump speak on television.

Analysis by Angelica Root

Caucus for Hillary

Hillary Clinton: Caucus Ad

All four identified manipulation themes are evident in this one-minute advertisement. This ad serves as a summary of all the qualities a President must have to run a successful country.

Analysis by Jennifer Yazzie