Appealing to Hearts and Minds
The Case of a Political Advertising Campaign in the 2019 European Parliament Elections in Cyprus
This research explores the political advertising campaign of Niyazi Kızılyürek, who was a candidate for the 2019 European Parliament election with the left-wing Progressive Party of Working People (AKEL) in Cyprus. It aims to uncover the content of political ads by focusing on the emotive character of the campaign language. Adopting a multi-method approach involving visual and qualitative content analysis of fifty-five ads, I examined the characteristics of communication materials distributed prior to the election. I looked at the type of tone, theme, language, music, visuals, and emotions these ads displayed. The main findings of the study are the following: (1) Kızılyürek’s political stance, which favors a solution to the problem of Cyprus based on creating a federation with Greek Cypriots, is literally reflected in each ad; (2) issue-based ads that underline political issues in the country were preferred to image-based ads that highlighted the personal qualities of the candidate; (3) both emotional appeals (associated with feelings such as hope and enthusiasm) and logical appeals (which tended to promote rational information processed by the conscious mind) were employed in the ads; and, (4) the overall tone of the ads was positive in nature, while negative emotions were completely avoided in this campaign.
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