In recent years, many candidates have begun to emphasize election aesthetics. Political advertising can be considered as an intertwining of politics and aesthetics; nevertheless, few scholars have investigated the effect of visual aesthetics on political advertising. Clarifying this issue has theoretical and practical value, especially because voters often rely on visual cues received during political communication to form candidate evaluations and responses. This study explores how aesthetic infusion in political advertising affects perceptions regarding the advertised candidates and voters’ attitudes and voting intentions toward the candidates from the perspective of the art infusion effects. It also examines the impact of another visual design element— white space. The results of the two experiments showed that, regardless of art or design elements, high (vs. low) aesthetic advertising improved voters’ perceptions of candidates’ sophistication and professionalism. Perceived sophistication and professionalism mediated the positive effects of advertising aesthetics on voters’ attitudes. Moreover, voters’ attitudes mediated the positive impact of advertising aesthetics on voting intentions. More white space in advertising increased the perceived candidate’s sophistication and professionalism, improving voters’ attitudes and voting intentions toward the candidate. The findings provide implications on how campaign teams should design political advertisements and promote commercial marketing.
political advertising, aesthetics, art infusion, white space, perception of sophistication