Political TV Ads in the 2008 Mongolian
In June 2008, some one million voters went to the polls in Mongolia to elect 76 members of the Great State Hural, Mongolia's parliament. I recorded and analyzed all of the over two hundred political commercials aired during the official campaign period (2 June - 28 June 2008).
Observed media: There are six terrestrial TV stations in Mongolia:
- Mongolian National Public Television (MNPTV)
- UBS (private)
- Channel 25 (private)
- TV5 (private)
- TV9 (private)
- Eagle TV (US funded news channel)
The study covered four out of these six stations: UBS, TV5, TV9 and Channel 25. Viewing rates were the primary criterion for the selection. The highest density of commercials was observed in the evening between 19.00 to 21.00 hours. Thus, all political ads aired during this time frame were recorded and together with a second coder (Batmunkh Bataa) categorized.
Categorization: The coding unit used in this research was a theme, that is to say a coherent idea about the candidate and his party. Each theme (advertisement) was coded according to its function. There were four different functions found in the commercials: The sponsoring candidate attacked the rival candidate (attack), rebutted criticism (rebuttal), created a positive image of himself (image), or tried to appeal to the electorate for support (appeal).
Intercoder reliability: In this research, two coders analyzed all TV ads. Cohen's kappa was used to calculate intercoder reliability. It reached 0.90, which indicates excellent reliability.
Preliminary findings: Seven political parties and five independent candidates placed ads on the observed four TV channels. About 75 percent of the ads featured candidates of the two largest parties, the Mongolian People's Revolutionary Party and the Democratic Party. Approximately 80 percent of the advertisements were designed to create a positive image of the candidate (image), 15 percent made appeals, and the remaining ads either rebutted criticism or attacked rival candidates.
Images of the 2008 Mongolian electoral campaign are available here.