The development of modern technologies has given rise to the era of visual culture, in which visual information is more important than verbal information, because in most respects, it is more comprehensive with implicit messages. Therefore, we decided to study open political advertisements on Georgian TV, in which visual information often has much more meaning than verbal information.
In general, advertising producers, and especially the creators of political advertising, should skillfully use the visual component in order to be able to increase the degree of impact on the consumers by increasing the media space. In order to measure the trends observed in Georgian political marketing in this regard, we analyzed advertisements used for different types of elections from 2014 to 2021.
The research period was determined by the following fact: since 2014, Georgian Dream has added a new model – the multi-sided positioning of a candidate – to the variety of open political advertisements created by Georgian political parties – counter-advertisement, propaganda. Our goal was to observe the transformation of open political advertising from 2014 to the municipal elections in 2021.
Our research is a novelty from the point of view of methodology, because, despite the fact that, as a rule, open or hidden political advertising has been studied by specialists in different contexts, there has so far been no precedent for the presentation of implicit meanings of Georgian open political advertising based on semiotic analysis and theories of media effects. We believe that it is possible to decipher the hidden meanings of open political advertising based on these two areas – semiotics and theories of media effects.
The conducted research has shown that in the process of perception of the message by the recipient, the visual code intervenes and gives direction. The examples studied by us prove that frames are mostly created by visual elements that dictate to the addressee how to perceive the message. Based on the theory of ‘agenda setting’, political marketing professionals offer potential voters the questions to think about before making a final decision and, accordingly, the ways of solving these problems are shown to the audience.
Since 2014, Georgian TV open political advertising has been improving, there is a tendency of increasing creative approach, which makes this important part of the election campaign diverse. ‘Falling into negativism’ also decreases and its place is occupied by the type of advertising, which is focused on creative presentation of the candidate and his / her action plan.