The Upper House First Semester Project

What Does It Take to Change a Voter's Mind?

On Monday November 3, the night before the coming election, your team will present a campaign television commercial on a specific California proposition to the registered voters of the Metro community. The purpose of your ad is to persuade your audience on how to vote in the California election on the following day.

Your Task

Each team of four students will create the following products:

  1. a research brief on the issue of your proposal
  2. focus group research, based on interviews you conduct with the target voters of your campaign
  3. a campaign commercial (30 seconds or less) on one of the ballot initiatives in the upcoming election

Your Success

Your success depends on:

  1. the quality of the research on your team’s proposition
  2. your understanding of the art and science of voter persuasion
  3. your skill in video production and editing
  4. your ability to work collaboratively in a fast-paced, deadline-demanding election schedule
  5. the critical thinking and communication skills you develop in forming a sustained political argument

Campaign Ads 2008

The Upper Division students of Metro are proud to present their political ads for the California propositions of November 2008. These videos are the product of months of researching the ballot, interviewing voters, studying the media, thinking critically about the issues, and spending hours in video production.

We are thrilled that ABC-7 News came to Metro to film a story about our project. See the ABC-7 News story.

All of the ads are posted here.

Congratulations to the students of Metro for their wildly successful exhibition night.

Reference Documents


  1. Ballot Review : due 9/19
  2. Team Platform : due 9/26
  3. Focus Group Research : due 9/29
  4. Commercial Treatment Proposal : due 10/3
  5. Commerical Storyboard and Script : due 10/8
  6. First Draft of Campaign Commercial : due 10/22
  7. Program Notes : due 10/22
  8. Final Draft of Campaign Commercial : due 10/29
  9. White Paper : due 12/12

Example of Student Work from 2008

refresh to see another example

No on Prop 7: Renewable Energy Generation

Produced by Gale Bergeman, Matthew Centeno, Ja'Na Nunley, Gabriel Prentice, Daniel Schreil

We decided that our target voters are middle class taxpayers who are supporters of the environment. We came to this conclusion after doing research and a series of interviews that showed that people were generally interested in doing something positive for the environment but weren’t in favor of raising any taxes. Our commercial’s objective is to show voters that Prop 7 is a scheme that appears to be helping the environment but is such a flawed and costly measure that is actually anti-green. Our commercial uses pathos and ethos in order to sway our target voter. The images we chose appealed to our voter’s feelings as caregivers, drawing a comparison between the environment and one’s children, especially with the image of the green Earth being held in someone’s hands. This is also reinforced by the bandaged-Earth, likening it to a child scraping her knee.

See all of the 2008 student campaign ads . . .