Trashing Political Ads, And Then Untrashing Them

Posted by: Jon Fine on October 15, 2008

I was on this panel earlier this week at a confab Digital Hollywood put on regarding politics and the media. This panel was about political advertising, which allowed me to to hammer on—or restate—a few of my favorite points about this election cycle:

—Transparency does not exist at the level of a national Presidential campaign, and this has been a season in which two campaigns that obsessively controlled the message made it to the finals. (The unfettered John McCain was fettered long ago.)

—The volume of media is essentially making it impossible for any one ad to break through

—Political ads suck, and are all basically exactly the same.

The latter was a mildly uncomfortable point to make, since some of the nice gents I sat with actually make said ads, but, whatever, we were all good sports about it.

But I made that point before I saw the following three spots, the first two of which I saw thanks to Andrew Sullivan and the last one on a post written by Times’ Michael Scherer on the magazine's estimable politics blog Swampland. After seeing them, I realize I might have spoken too soon with regard to point three. (At least the part about same-y-ness.)

The wonders of YouTube allow me to present them below. Be warned that ad #3 is probably the most audacious and frankly bizarre attack ad I've seen this cycle, and maybe ever. It's best not viewed by those easily offended (or by anyone eating lunch, for that matter).

Spot 1:

Spot 2:

Spot 3:

Reader Comments

Don

October 20, 2008 8:47 PM

I wonder if the SNL-skit style ads would have move of a shift:
1. Nationally?
2. With a candidate who is viewed as an underdog?

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