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Flashback They've Got Your Number

October 31, 2008

“Political advertising ... is just the artful assembling of nominal facts into hideous, outrageous lies.”
Bob Garfield, Columnist, Advertising Age

By the time it's over, Campaign 2008 will have broken all records for advertising dollars spent in a single election -- no picnic for the bombarded electorate, but a bonanza for the industry that does the bombarding.

So who are these marketing wizards, and how do they decide what works and what doesn't? For answers, we nominate this excerpt from The Persuaders, a 2004 FRONTLINE classic that looks at the sophisticated niche marketing tools advertisers use to customize messages for particular constituencies.

In the excerpt, correspondent and media critic Douglas Rushkoff visits with Republican political consultant Frank Luntz, a venerable practitioner of the persuasive arts and a master at telling people what his research says they want to hear.

Want to know more? You can also see the entire program online. (We're FRONTLINE, and we approved this message.)

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