Counter-imaging: Myth-making and Americanization in Israeli Labor Party campaign ads, 2003

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For several decades, the United States has exported not only its particular definition of democracy to developing nations but also the style of modern televisual politics. As a result, the nature of televised commercials in election campaigns in many nations is designed by US-based, -trained or -inspired consultants. This article examines ads run in the 2003 Israeli elections by the Israeli Labor party. Findings show that the ads (a) are indistinguishable in style from American ads; (b) follow a particular American formula of counter-imaging, that is, creating images of candidates and parties contrary to stereotypes held by voters; and (c) obfuscate the actual issues that the embattled nation faced and still faces. The article thus argues that the ‘American–modern’ style of campaign ad damages substantive and constructive political communication in nations wrestling with intensely complex issues.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)304-332
Number of pages29
JournalVisual Communication
Issue number3
StatePublished - Oct 2005


  • Americanization
  • Israel
  • associational juxtaposition
  • counter-imaging
  • election
  • globalization
  • myth
  • political advertisement
  • political campaign
  • political consulting


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