Humor in Political Ads Doesn't Really Work

Posted by: David Kiley on November 20, 2007

Governor Mike Huckabee’s new ad featuring “actor” Chuck Norris feels to me like something a dog would film if they were actually afraid they might catch up with the bus.

Huckabee is gaining momentum. His polling is rising in the key state of Iowa. The media had adopted him as the only legit GOP candidate who should appeal to the Evanagelical right.

But this ad

he made with some of his new money isn’t the right strategy even if it does buy him free airings on CNN and MSNBC. Just when a guy is gaining some gravitas in the field, why go on the air and see if you can get a laugh? Bill Richardson tried this earlier, filming an ad where he was in an office appplying for the job of President. Yuk Yuk…NOT. Another ad showed him in a cowboy suit on a horse.

Memo to the pols: Humor sells FedEx, Coke and sometimes even a car. It does not sell a president.

Reader Comments

Mike Keliher

November 21, 2007 3:30 PM

...at least not yet, but I'd say things could use some changing.

(I'm not talking about replacing one certain political leader. I'm talking about changing basically everything about who runs for office, why and how. I'm also not saying that putting Chuck f@#$ing Norris in an ad is the kind of change I'm looking for, either. I'd rather see lame attempts at humor and personality than lame attempts at "serious discourse" that actually amount to little more than childish finger-pointing and over-simplification of important issues.)

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News, opinions, inflammatory meanderings and occasional ravings about the world of advertising, marketing and media. By marketing editor Burt Helm, Innovation Editor Helen Walters, and senior correspondent Michael Arndt.

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