"Gab, Gab, Gab"

Adlai Stevenson, 1952

One of the earliest pieces from the television era, this was an effort by the campaign of Democrat Adlai Stevenson in 1952 to remind voters of why they had been supporting Democratic candidates for the last twenty years. Created by the Illinois Democratic Party at a time when the national party was unconvinced that television advertising would prove to be the wave of the future, it offers the great social-welfare argument of the New Deal party system in comprehensive and concentrated form.

The associated emphasis on partisan identification in the mass public would gradually disappear, as candidates tried to portray themselves increasingly as above party. Its central theme would nevertheless be repeated and repeated by Democratic presidential candidates, though never better than in this initial incarnation. This is also one of many pieces that helps underline the fact that the best ads do not necessarily belong to the winning campaign.

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The Storyboard

gab gab gab