Sarah Silverman has an offer for Mitt Romney’s most generous supporter, Sheldon Adelson.
Silverman proposes that if Sheldon donates the $100 million that he intends to give to Romney’s campaign to Obama instead, she will ‘scissor’ the wealthy casino magnate whilst she wears a bikini.
In a video that is now no doubt the front-runner for “ad most likely to cause offense of 2012″, Silverman defines ‘scissoring’ as “traditional lesbian sex” and then goes on to demonstrate the action with a small dog.
Silverman is no stranger to campaigning for Obama in ways which push the boundaries of comic license; her 2008 video The Great Schlep won many plaudits but also ruffled some feathers.
However, the indecent proposal is far more extreme and I doubt it will have the same sort of mainstream appeal. Despite its comic intention, the tone borders on aggressive. Voters will question whether a political donor deserves to have such a brutal and overtly sexual attack levied against him.
A new poster by the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (“NORML”). It features President Obama smoking a cigarrette wearing a panama hat as youngster carrying a take on his famous slogan – ‘yes we cannabis’. Very droll.
This poster is being stuck up around Los Angeles in a guerilla campaign to brand Obama as a socialist. The poster is incredibly visually powerful, and for that reason it has recieved huge amounts of media coverage world wide. It doesn’t really make logical sense, in the respect that the Joker (from Batman) was not a socialist.
But things don’t always have to make sense to have an impact.
The above advert is one of the better ones created by Conservatives for Patients Rights; an organisation spending millions of dollars in advertising to try and prevent Obama from passing sweeping healthcare reforms in the USA.
In the UK last week, our politicians were clambering over each other to stand up for the NHS – you almost never hear a politician damning the NHS. It’s rare to the extent that I found it quite shocking watching some of the adverts openly criticising the NHS, my British gut reaction was along the lines of “Now hang on just a minute old boy, you can’t say things like that around here”…
Lots of candidates that are elected on a wave of popularity pledge to bring their campaigning and organising frame of mind into government. Here is the Democrats and Team Obama attempting to fulfill that ambition. Not a great ad, but the sentiment of “we still need all ya’ll who helped get me elected” is just about carried through. The triumphant emphasis every time the word “President” is used is probably a bit much, but after 8 years of Opposition, I’ll forgive them that one.
It’s worth mentioning that getting lots of people to sign up to your agenda for government is democratic and ‘grass roots’ to an extent. But the challenge comes when you have to deal with a situation where a significant portion / majority of the public and your supporters disagree with the direction you’re trying to set and want to halt or change it.
Here is a better advert from Americans United for Change containing similar subject matter:
There’s no emphasis on grass roots activism, but it’s a much more compelling stand-alone piece of communication. It would be a REALLY interesting experiment if you could isolate the two campaigns mentioned in this post in different areas of the country. You could measure which approach – low budget TV ad with a small media spend but heavy organising activity v.s expensive animated TV ad and zero campaigning on the ground – is more effective in shaping peoples opinion.
No, you’re eyes don’t decieve you. This is the most tenuous bastardisation of Obama’s campaign yet. The advertisement for plumbing, guttering and decay repair (amongst others) came through my front door this morning. It is particularly amusing given the deployment of ‘Joe the Plumber’ by John McCain as an example of how Obama’s economic policies would be to the detriment of small business.
David Cameron has aluded to the tedium of the every political party, business, man and his dog trying to learn the lessons of Obama’s success. That having been said, on Thursday night I went to a really good event featuring Matthew McGregor (of Blue State Digital) and Tom Miller on the very subject of learning online lessons from across the pond, hosted by Compass.
They rightly highlighted that a central aim of political communication via the internet is to provoke an action from the reciever. Be it to donate money, time or simply to pass it on to a friend. The concept of advertising – political or not – being an active process is not a new one. But few organisations have genuinely internalised the fact that the internet enables immediate reaction and that therefore a siginificant part of any online message should be prompting such an instant response.
If you’ve reached this post via a search engine and are looking for a West London handyman, I’d hate for your first visit to be a disappointment:
West London Handyman, political chit-chat not included.
You know you’re the coolest politician that has ever lived when you’ve got some of the world’s cutting edge DJs, artists and directors making a mixed media mash-up to celebrate and promote your inauguration.
Obama v.s Spiderman
This is not political advertising as this edition of the comic was commissioned by Marvel not Obama’s team.
However, this is an example of what many advertising agencies are starting to think about with regards to their brands. As people become more difficult to reach through traditional means, making creative, fictional content which people will actively pursue (that features the brand in some respect at the core) will become an increasingly desirable avenue for advertisers (including political parties).
For example of a production agency who are doing just this sort of work for brands check out www.upset.tv
To continue on my recent theme of emotive political advertising… Faris Yakob has written a brilliant piece that investigates one method of affecting people.
The lesson, at it’s most basic, is that one can trigger an emotional response from an audience by showing / telling them something that they are familiar with – in order to build up an expectation – and then suddenly deviating from it, which creates a punchline or ‘message’. The above clip is a great example of such a technique in action.
We learn such emotive techniques from a young age with ’knock-knock’ or ‘why did the chicken cross the road’ jokes. We subconsciously learn that by using a familiar opening remark we can create humour by suddenly changing away from the expected conclusion.
Another example: if you consider successful comedy sketch shows such as ‘Harry Endfield and Chums’ or ‘Little Britain’ (amongst others), they have a set of characters with a relatively tight set of comic traits. These would eventually stop being funny if they simply executed them in the same way over and over again. The way in which they are kept fresh is by constantly inventing new ways of disrupting the expected narrative of a scene. The ultimate (if only political) example of this was Catherine Tait and Tony Blair’s sketch for Comic Relief.
The Budweiser / Obama spot did this fantastically, as did The Conservative Party’s Christmas themed ‘tax bombshell’ . Using this creative tension of expectation and punch line can provide a devastating political blow, as well as some interesting advertising!
Political campaign guru Evan Tracey has compiled a playlist of videos and analysis from throughout the Obama vs McCain campaign that is well worth a look at.
The above video came from Tracey’s playlist and is an example of the sort of emotive advertising, that I mentioned earlier in the week, was badly needed in UK political communication. Brian Donahue just a wrote a very interesting piece on political advertising and emotion that is definitely worth checking out if you’re interested in this stuff, the crux of this thoughts are that:
“Emotional appeals almost always trump rational appeals when attempting to gain political support or create negative views about an opponent. Voters are more apt to create positive or negative feelings about an issue or candidate through emotions and sentiments rather than rational or logical arguments”