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 9: Criminal Victims' Rights

Produced by Sheronda Caldwell, Alejandro Castro, Ronnie Freeman, Araceli Leon, Axel Melgoza

Our target voters are men and women between ages 25-35 in the lower middle class. We believe that they should be targeted because they are the ones who do not have the substantial amount of money to bail loved ones out of jail and would have to rely on the results of court hearings. What the target voters will see is that Proposition 9 will not benefit everyone. It threatens people’s rights to equality and justice. Our group is using rhetorical devices such as logos and pathos. Our attempts at logos show many facts about the ill effects of the proposition’s passing. We use pathos with some pictures and scenes that reflect on what will happen if Prop 9 does pass and how it will affect people’s lives. Our ad is a mixture of pictures, text, and narration. We are presenting the prop by “selling” it to the capitalist society in which everybody buys products. We show voters they should not buy this “product” because it will hurt you in the end and you will not be happy with the results.

See all of the 2008 student campaign ads . . .