Influence of Media

One of the main factors that led to Kennedy’s victory was probably the influence of television, both through the Great Debates and commercial advertisements. Nixon’s problem was that he did not understand just how significant television could be, even saying “Television is not as effective as it was in 1952. The novelty has worn off” (Matthews, 144). Nixon therefore did not spend much money or effort on commercial advertisements, which were all quite similar and low-budget, just showing him on a bleak background appealing for votes or discussing some kind of policy matter:

Kennedy, however, took advantage of the aspects of his campaign that could offer him the upper hand. First, he knew his appearance was a huge part of his image, especially after the first debate when young women would jump towards the stage from the crowd to see the newest sex symbol in the world.   To play off this media attention, Kennedy and wife Jackie starred on the CBS show “Person to Person” which gave television viewers the ability to get an inside look into their personal life:

Moreover, Kennedy did not underestimate the power of television like his opponent did. He spent a lot of his family’s money on numerous different types of commercials to appeal to the broad public, from a catchy jingle, to an appeal to families and married couples:

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