The objective of this article is to challenge the argument that political parties are replaced by the mass communications media in contemporary electoral dynamics. The article seeks to demonstrate that the causes for the political parties’ decline are independent of the professionalization of election campaigns. The latter results exclusively from technological modernization, a process to which political parties may adjust more or less efficiently. The article analyzes the construction of the party image during the free TV campaign advertising time in Brazil in 2002 in order to demonstrate the use of collectivist strategies by the parties, highlighting a possible strengthening of their role through the TV campaign advertising.
party image and identification; campaign professionalism; free TV campaign advertising