Archive for the ‘Political Ads’ Category

Vote — Palin

Tuesday, November 11th, 2008

This was in the “draft” pile, and is obviously a little late now. Let’s consider it a celebration for an Obama victory, and a fond farewell to Mrs. Palin. We’ll miss how awful you are.


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jtherkal: I don’t want to ruin the surprise in this, so let’s just say an advertising All Time Favorite comes back in this to try and get you to get out and vote. I thought I was the only one who wanted to see more of this guy. I’m sure this’ll never run on TV, but it’s funny to me. The writing could have been a little better, but overall, A.

Presidential Election — McCain Like Bush

Thursday, October 16th, 2008

sjbooher: In the final presidential debate, after Obama pretty much blamed the country’s current position on the failure of the Bush administration, McCain struck back, saying something like “I am not President Bush. If you wanted to run against him, you should have run 4 years ago.” It was one of the few times in the debates that McCain seemed to win with a slick comment. This ad comes on the heels of that, strikes right back, and makes McCain look foolish. This is probably classified as a “negative” ad, but it’s the kind of “negative” ad that I think is ok. It’s not a character attack or mud-slinging. It focuses on policy tendencies of the candidate. This is well done, especially given the less than 24-hour turnaround. After seeing those clips of McCain making those ridiculous faces, it is hard to think of him as “presidential”. A.

jtherkal: I have mixed feelings about that whole situation. The question about negative ads in the debate made me feel very uncomfortable. It’s been fairly clear to me that Obama’s “negative” ads have been critical of McCain’s policies, not about his personality. This seems to stray a little from that, and seems like a reaction to Obama’s failure to lambaste McCain when he made that “clever” comment about not being Bush. Many viewed that moment as a victory for McCain, like he really told Obama. So while the ad is okay, it’s a reaction to Obama missing an opportunity to throw those same points in McCain’s face when he was trying to be snarky. Telling me about McCain’s tendencies doesn’t tell me about Obama’s plans, or about the faults in McCain’s actual plans. B-.

Presidential Election — Obama Talks

Thursday, September 18th, 2008

sjbooher: I think this one is way more line with what Obama has been trying to get across throughout his campaign. No attacking the other side, but instead presenting his side of the story. He lays out the problems he sees and even gets into some specifics about solutions. Of course it is two minutes long and still boring as hell. The funny part is, this is probably the first political ad I’ve viewed in HD, and the only thing gained is the ability to shift Obama a little to the “left” side of the screen? Couldn’t they have given me a better background than the same hotel room in which much of the first season of 24 was shot? C.

jtherkal: I agree with that analysis for the most part, though I have to question the “boring” tag. I mean, I guess they could have thrown in some music and maybe some explosions? Maybe he could have made some jokes? Nope. This is what political advertising should be. Talk about the issues and your plans. Things that affect our country aren’t boring. Was this dry? Yes. But political ads shouldn’t feel like ads. They should feel like the candidates talking to you about things that matter. Congrats to Obama for getting back on track. A-.

sjbooher: At the end of the day though, something is being advertised, right? So the goal is to make someone interested in the product, which in this case is Obama? Is anybody that is not already interested in Obama’s campaign going to pay attention to this? I don’t think so. I don’t have the solution… I only point out the problems. Otherwise, I’d have your job.

Obama — Sleazy McCain

Wednesday, September 17th, 2008

sjbooher: Throughout his campaign, one aspect of Obama’s personality that has really struck me, is his ability to take the high road. McCain and his party have continually done the opposite of that, attacking Obama at any and every point. With this ad, criticizing McCain for criticizing Obama… has Barack decided stop turning the other cheek? It’s somewhat disappointing but I guess inevitable. Let mud slinging begin. All-in-all this ad is straightforward, standard and boring, and I have never met anyone who changed their mind about presidential candidates, so I’m not even sure if these things work. C.

jtherkal: This ad had the proportions wrong. 80% should have been focused on the last part, where he calls out McCain’s history of voting with Bush; 20% on McCain’s smear ads. It seems hypocritical to run a smear ad about your opponent running smear ads. Instead, Obama could have simply corrected all of McCain’s misinformation. That would both point out that McCain runs deceptive ads AND show you the positive things Obama stands for. If you’re going to take the moral high road, you can’t be pulling stunts like this. This isn’t change. D for disappointed.

In related news, there was something in the paper this morning about the absurd amount of money spent on political advertising. I have to agree that the whole thing gets a bit ridiculous. In my opinion, political ads are never really about the issues (and if they are, there is generally some sort of false spin on them) and they should be outlawed. Leave the campaigning to the hippie tree-huggers with buttons and bible-toting pro-lifer’s bumper stickers.

A WAW Political Ad: McCain — Obama = Paris Hilton

Wednesday, August 6th, 2008

jtherkal: In what will become a growing series as November nears, we’re going to tackle political ads. For years, political ads have been a stain on our society, littering the airwaves with slanderous accusations, boredom and just plain terribleness. You’d think that candidates would hire professionals to pump out some ads that don’t feel like your typical political BS. But to date, few have. We’ll start with this gem, which has been a bit of a lightning rod as of late.

It’s for John McCain, Republican candidate for president (for the super uninformed). My guess is he has hired some professionals, and those professionals talked him into this outstanding ad. The conversation probably went a little like this:

Ad Guy: So John, the difference between you and Obama is that you’re old and crusty. He’s young, beloved and hip. Trying to make you seem hip, or Obama seem crusty is a near impossible task. So our angle is this: play up your crustiness and make his popularity seem like a fault.

McCain: Interesting. Can’t we just say “McCain is white and will take over the fucking world with guns?”

Ad Guy: No, there’s been a bit of a backlash due to all this war crap.

McCain: Oh, continue.

Ad Guy: Well, we start with ominous music. Then we show people chanting “O BA MA! O BA MA!”

McCain: Wait, won’t that make him seem popular?

Ad Guy: That’s the point, you old bastard. Now shut it and wait for the punchline.

McCain: Sorry.

Ad Guy: So while people are chanting, we show images of celebrities that are idiots. Paris Hilton, Brittany Spears, etc. Then people will think “Obama is a celebrity, Paris is a celebrity, Obama is the same as Paris.”

McCain: I like your logic.

Ad Guy: Then we say some of the political bullshit you insist on cramming in my ads, followed by that image of you looking into the light while you say you approve this message.

McCain: Doesn’t that clip of me looking into the light make people think of me being old and dying?

Ad Guy: That’s the point! We want people to think about how old you are. You’re the anti-young. You have so much experience that you’re almost dead.

McCain: Brilliant.

Ad Guy: That’s why you hired me.

I guess if I have to rate this, I give it a F. The backlash on this has been nothing short of sensational. Paris has even responded with this:

sjbooher: That’s it, I’m voting for Paris. That is awesome. How does Paris Hilton have a better campaign ad than McCain? And it also sounds like she already has a better handle on her running mate (Rihanna, potentially) than either of the real candidates! Ha. McCain’s ad was lazy and scatterbrained at the same time. FOCUS, MAAAAAAAN. Not to mention he just saved Obama millions of dollars as the backlash is campaign advertising in and of itself. F to the McCain ad, A+ to the Paris ad.