Happy Easter, for those who celebrate, from Stand By Your Ad! While Easter is certainly one of the most important Christian holidays, it has taken on a cultural place in American society. From The Easter Bunny, to Easter-egg-hunts to those amazing Reese’s Peanut Butter Eggs, Americans love Easter. We thought it would be fun to celebrate Easter here at Stand By Your Ad with a brief look at the White House Easter Egg Roll!
A Brief History of the Easter Egg Roll
According to History.com, “some historians credit first lady Dolley Madison with first proposing the idea of a public egg roll around 1810, and there are accounts of informal egg rolls staged by the children of Presidents Abraham Lincoln and Andrew Johnson. The 1878 event hosted by Hayes on the South Lawn, however, stands as the first official White House Easter Egg Roll.”
The White House Easter Egg Roll has been held on-and-off (cancelled due to weather, war, and other factors), since 1878, and has been enjoyed by generations of Americans for well over a century. Let’s take a look at some highlights from the video-era!
“The health and safety of all Americans must be the first priority, especially right now,” “I deeply regret this cancellation, but we need to make difficult decisions in the short-term to ensure a healthy country for the long-term. During this time, I encourage everyone to listen to state and local officials, and follow CDC guidelines in order to help protect the health and well-being of everyone.”
In lieu of the 2020 Easter Egg Roll video, here is the White House’s official 2020 Easter message from President Trump. This is presented here in place of this year’s typical event and is not intended as a political statement, endorsement or criticism.
The White House Easter Egg Roll in Video
Thanks to the archiving of film footage by various Presidential Libraries, there are glimpses into the past of White House Easter Egg Rolls of years past. The following are some video selections highlighting the Easter Egg Rolls of previous administrations! If you know of any other footage that we have not included, please be sure to let us know! If you’d like to see a wonderful photo collection of the Easter Egg Roll through history, PBS has an excellent collection. The following are clips and snippets collectd from YouTube and C-SPAN. The list is not conclusive, but aims to highlight as many examples as we could find.
What’s your favorite Presidential White House Easter Egg Roll moment? Have you ever been involved or partaken in the event? Let us know in the comments below!
Why is this website titled Stand By Your Ad? The answer lies within a five word phrase;“…And I approve this message”.
Those five words have become synonymous with American politics and campaign advertisements. As we watch political campaign ads – taking in the visuals and music that carry the message deep into our psyche – we await the big reveal to the ultimate question; who is behind this? As the commercial comes to a close, the familiar voice of a candidate, laying claim to the message, recites the all-too-familiar five worded phrase “…and I approve this message”. But WHY do candidates say that? And what does that have to do with the name of this site?
Striking From the Shadows: Attack Ads
For as long as campaigns have existed, so too, have attack ads. Even our founding fathers engaged in this behavior! During the campaign of 1800, John Adams President described his rival, Thomas Jefferson, as “a mean-spirited, low-lived fellow, the son of a half-breed Indian squaw, sired by a Virginia mulatto father”! Yikes.
Attack ads, or “negative ads” according to wikipedia.org are “advertisements whose message is designed to wage a personal attack against an opposing candidate or political party in order to gain support for the attacking candidate and attract voters.”, in other words, negative ads are ads in which candidates attack other candidates, usually on a personal level, to influence voters. Though political nastiness is an American tradition, the rise of negative attack ads in campaign commercials can be traced back to the 1960’s; a rather tumultuous time in American society.
Negative attack ads began to run rampant, and often were released anonymously; striking political opponents without any culpability for the candidate behind the message. This not only negatively impacted candidates on both sides of the political spectrum, but also discouraged voters and cast a negative light on politics, in general. A bipartisan movement began to rise among congressional leaders to curb this trend of negative advertising by demanding candidates claim responsibility for the content of their ads.
“…And I Approve This Message”
After years of attempts to control negative advertising through legislation, the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act was passed in 2002. This law’s main objective was to reform the way political campaigns were financed, but one major provision of the law became known as the Stand By Your Ad Provision.
The Stand By Your Ad Provision compels a political candidate in the United States to include “a statement by the candidate that identifies the candidate and states that the candidate has approved the communication” in all of their television or radio advertisements. In other words, the message to a candidate is that you must Stand By Your Ad. The reasoning behind the law is that if a candidate must physically endorse their messaging, they are less likely to engage in negative attack advertising. In an interview with Mic, Senator Ron Wyden, one of the provisions co-authors, stated that “I’ve always thought that when you have the candidates actually have to stand behind it in that way, that makes a candidate a little bit more careful in terms of what they say and how it’s perceived,”.
Studies show that this requirement, though likely annoying to candidates, as it eats up valuable advertising time, is actually beneficial to candidates! In a study by BYU, political ads where the candidate has approved the message have a more positive impact compared to those that did not, regardless of whether viewers know the candidates well. The study also showed that Stand By Your Ad made viewers have more confidence that the political campaigns were run in a truthful and fair manner.
Shadowy Hitmen of Politics…
Stand By Your Ad did not solve all of the political world’s advertising problems, however. Stand By Your Ad only applies to advertisements that the candidate’s campaign has directly paid for, and only applies to radio and television advertisements; leaving the internet and other new mediums as the wild, wild West of advertising. Further, what about advertisements that are paid for….by someone else?
In a highly controversial landmark US Supreme Court case known as Citizens United, the Supreme Court ruled that political spending is a form of free speech, and that limits on political spending would place a limit on said free speech, thus violating the First Amendment. Further, it declared that corporations and political action committees (PACs & Super PACs) are made up of people, and thus can act as an individual, therefore, corporations and other groups have free speech rights, and therefore, unlimited political spending ability.
As a result of Citizens United, outside groups and corporations are free to spend an unlimited amount of money on campaign advertising, and more importantly, the Stand By Your Ad provision does not apply to them. Super PACs and other outside groups are free to make any type of advertising they want as long as they announce that they are not in any way connected (difficult to prove) to a particular candidate or campaign. Thus, in this era of technology and inordinate spending, Stand By Your Ad is routinely challenged. Though there have been attempts to strengthen the provision with updated legislation, all measures have failed to pass through Congress.
Can You Spot The Difference?
A New Hope...
Staying politically savvy in the Information Age would seem to be easier for citizens than ever before. We live in an era where news and information are at the fingertips of the people and accessible on-demand. Ironically, it may be more challenging to make an informed political decision as a voter than in previous decades. The decision in Citizens United opened the floodgate for political advertisements to assault the electorate in suffocating fashion. Ads come at citizens from all directions; from outside groups and parties who can skirt Stand By Your Ad regulations, and from the candidates themselves. In an era where the average person seems busier than ever, how can one make truly informed political decisions in light of the sheer amount of political content that comes their way? Enter StandByYourAd.com
We decided to name ourselves after the Stand By Your Ad provision for one simple reason; we believe Americans should know where the advertisements they see come from. We believe in helping citizens make informed decisions. Though the Stand By Your Ad provision does not solve all of the advertising-based issues in American Politics, we believe that it is essential for the health of our elections, and we strive to further its mission and goal.
What do you think? Should ALL advertisements be met with the same standard as candidate-funded ads? Does the Stand By Your Ad provision limit free speech of the candidates? What questions do you have about campaign advertisement regulations? Let us know in the comments below!
This is Stand By Your Ad, and we approve this message!
Hello! Thank you for checking out Stand By Your Ad; a project aiming to centralize political advertisements in a convenient, nonpartisan manner! The goal for this project is to help consumers of political advertisements find, filter, and analyze political advertisements of the 2020 Presidential campaign and beyond.
I was inspired to begin this project from my use of the now defunct(?) “Living Room Candidate” website. I am grateful for the service that LRC provided, and wish it were still active today, that said, I see an opportunity to continue their good work. There is a need for organization and centralization of the literally hundreds of advertisements that have been, and will be pushed out by the various campaigns over the next 12 months and beyond. It is the goal of Stand By Your Ad to be that resource.
Why This Site Exists:
Advertising is an incredibly powerful tool to relay a politician’s message to the masses. Political campaigns have entire divisions of their organizations dedicated to crafting and delivering the perfect ad. The perfect advertisement that will go viral, make headlines, and attach to the back of your mind. The one that will replay just before you make your final decision at the polls.
Political Advertisements are subtle and cunning; they employ a wide variety of psychological techniques to impact the viewer and influence the way we think and feel about candidates and issues. My goal is to provide helpful resources to educate about the tactics and strategies behind advertisements and to help understand why certain advertisements are so impactful, while others are not.
Stand By Your Ad will be the one-stop-shop for political campaign advertisements. We will collect, categorize and sort every officially released advertisement from major candidates so that users from all over America and around the world can find, sort, analyze and educate themselves on candidates, issues and more.
Advertisements have a rich history in American politics, dating as far back as politics itself in this country, candidates have attempted to sway the masses with the mediums of their times; from cartoons to leaflets, to buttons, bumper stickers and beyond, political advertising has been a constant from the beginning. The goal of Stand By Your Ad is to help users not only parse through the multitude of political advertisements of our current day, but also to highlight and celebrate some of the greatest political advertisements in American history.
There is great opportunity to help educate students about politics, government, civics and discourse through the use of advertisements. Scholarship over political advertisement has the potential to teach students in a cross-curricular method; from media literacy, language, psychology, art, persuasion, science, math, technology and more, the study of campaign ads is ripe with educational potential.
A major pillar of Stand By Your Ad is to support both students and teachers alike in the pursuit of this study. Stand By Your Ad will have a teacher section full of lesson plans, projects and activities all surrounding political advertisements. Outreach will be a main tool used for Stand By Your Ad. This includes reaching out to professionals in the field to create curated playlists of ads around particular themes or ideas. Stand By Your Ad will also reach out to fellow teachers for ideas on implementing political advertisements into their curriculum.
I am a high school government teacher who is passionate about politics and American government. My “nerdiness” for government knows no limits! I have spent the last number of summers traveling the nation participating in summer seminars and institutes offered by such groups as C-SPAN, The United States Supreme Court, the National Constitution Center, and more. I attend every major political rally that comes within an hour of my home town, regardless of political affiliation. My students know me in part for my obsession with politics and how much I “geek out” over the spectacle of American political life. One major reason I began Stand By Your Ad is simply because I enjoy politics as a hobby, and I find advertising to be equally as intriguing.
Living in a very politically contentious swing state, we are pummeled with advertisements on just about every medium conceivable. From television to YouTube advertisements, candidates are spending enormous amounts of money to get their messages in front of our eyes and into our ears. The sheer multitude of ads can be overwhelming, and for some, it is a relief when campaigns are complete; thankful for the cease-fire in the advertisement war. I, on the other hand love campaign ads, and hope to share that through this project.
Stand By Your Ad is an ongoing project. I am excited to begin this journey and hopefully create a resource that is helpful and enjoyable. If you have feedback, questions, or want to assist in this project, please use the Contact link, and reach out!
This is Stand By Your Ad, and I approve this message.
Presidential candidates in the 2020 presidential race are beginning to release campaign advertisements surrounding coronavirus (COVID-19); capitalizing on the opportunity to show their own leadership as well as highlight perceived failures in their opponent’s leadership. As the United States grapples with the rapid spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, regularly scheduled life for nearly all Americans has been disrupted for the foreseeable future. As millions of school-aged American children experience extended school closures, and adults across America struggle with what is hopefully temporary job displacement, candidates Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders and President Donald Trump have all released advertisements and short videos concerning the government’s response to coronavirus (COVID-19) prompting some critics to ask whether or not blatantly politicizing the global pandemic is morally responsible or acceptable.
In what should arguably be a nonpartisan issue, the rapid spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) has triggered dramatic response from politicians on both sides of the political spectrum. Social media is brimming with both citizens and elected officials alike espousing divisive rhetoric that has turned the global pandemic into a political firestorm for the ages. Biden, Sanders and Trump have all released content that seizes on the immediacy of the issue as well as taking the opportunity to push their respective narratives on the response of the government on the coronavirus. While the world seemingly grinds to a halt in an attempt to control the spread of the pandemic, not even the coronavirus can stop the 2020 Presidential race from marching on.
Trump vs Dems
The most recent Coronavirus-related advertisement; “Democrats: Placing Politics Over People”, was released on March 24 by the Trump campaign. The advertisement takes aim at House and Senate democrats’ efforts to pack a COVID-19 Relief Stimulus Bill with progressive goals that some argue are not directly related to aiding Americans in the face of coronavirus. The advertisement begins with a subdued President Trump declaring that America is “at war with an invisible enemy”, and then transitions to clips of various news outlets reporting on several legislative goals of Democrats within the coronavirus stimulus package.
The advertisement aims to shift recent criticism of the Trump administration to appropriately deal with the COVID-19 pandemic by centering focus on Democrats for having ulterior motives in their proposed relief bill. The advertisement ends with an assertive slam on congressional Democrats; “Democrats: Placing politics over people”.
Joe vs Trump
In an advertisement released by the Biden campaign entitled Joe Biden vs. Donald Trump on the Corona Virus Response, Joe Biden contrasts responses to the coronavirus (COVID-19) he made during the televised March 15th debate against Democratic rival Bernie Sanders against a recent press conference of the Coronavirus Task Force during which President Trump made headlines by rebuking NBC News reporter Peter Alexander for asking a question that President Trump categorized as “sensationalism”. The objective behind Biden’s advertisement is to demonstrate his style of leadership as a stark contrast of President Trump’s.
Biden’s apparent strategy in this advertisement is to portray President Trump as an ineffective leader, unable to respond to basic questions or show the ability to unify the nation during a worldwide crisis.
The advertisement ends with the Biden campaign asserting that this type of crisis must be met with the leadership of a president, and in November, Americans can elect just that Joe Biden, asserting that Donald Trump is not an acceptable or legitimate President in dealing with COVID-19.
Bernie vs Corporations
The Bernie Sanders campaign, although nearly vanquished of the momentum they began the primary season with, and falling further and further behind in delegate numbers, is still pushing onward. Bernie Sanders released two short videos on his YouTube channel responding to two different aspects of the Coronavirus response.
In his first video, Bail Out Workers, Not CEOs , Sanders references the initial draft of the COVID-19 stimulus relief package that was shot down by Democrats. Though Sanders does not take aim at President Trump specifically in his first video, he subtlety refers to Republican leadership for providing funding to bail out large corporations without limits or restrictions for how the money will be utilized. Senator Sanders has a long history of taking on large corporations and his perceived abuses of working-class Americans by those corporate entities, and urges Congress to pass a bill that directly assists working-class Americans over, or at least before, corporate America.
In this advertisement, Senator Sanders comments on the lack of personal protective gear that hospital staff and first responders have in facing the COVID-19 pandemic in hospitals, and seemingly places the blame on President Trump for resisting to use the Defense Production Act to meet those needs. President Trump has thus far preferred the states to build their own supply chain rather than the federal government nationalizing production.
The basic strategy behind all of the candidates’ advertisements is similar; shift blame and guilt for misplaced and misguided responses to the Coronavirus. The goal for all three campaigns is to convince Americans that there are two vastly different approaches for dealing with the global pandemic and that one is good for Americans, and one is bad. Advertisements are extremely effective in shaping peoples’ perceptions of events and individuals, and tend to play to the basic human emotions that elicit the strongest responses; fear and anger. The underlying objective for both advertisements is to anger viewers at a particular person or party for their actions or inactions during these unprecedented times. The question becomes whether or not it is morally acceptable to politicize an issue of this magnitude. Politicians have politicized tragedies for as long as there have been, well, politicians and tragedies. From natural disasters to mass shootings, no topic is seemingly beyond the reach of politicians making political statements about them. The Coronavirus pandemic seems different. This event is unlike issues such as gun violence as the COVID-19 outbreak is a global crisis. If there was ever a time for the nation, maybe even the entire world to unite on an issue, one would think this crisis would qualify. Perhaps not; climate change has a “global quality” to it, yet there is plenty of political division over that issue. Should the 2020 Presidential candidates shy away from taking the opportunity to score points by leveraging the Coronavirus in their advertisements? Should they resist the “low hanging fruit” and avoid criticizing their rivals over their responses in forms of mass media? Is this issue “too far” when it comes to political ads? I would love to hear your response in the comments below.