This advert is so appallingly dull that it led to Garfield (of Advertising Age fame) writing a withering indictment of political advertising as a discipline. If you like reading a stream of biting criticism, read this (and my biography if it ever gets written).
He believes that political advertising’s stock in trade is ‘tricking the ill-informed’ and simplifying complex issues to the point where it’s a 30 second lie. Pretty damning stuff…
BUT he doesn’t believe that political adverts, such as the above, are ‘bad adverts’, he just laments the level that the advertisers have to stoop to. He points out that the single most important objective political communication is to persuade ‘undecided’ members of the electorate of one thing or another. And, the people that are easy to persuade, according to Garfield, are the thick people.
So the authors of this ad tried to make healthcare reform stupefyingly simple in the hope that those with a double digit IQ can digest it and parrot it to their friends. I’m going to dub such a strategy ‘The Susan Boyle’ – it’s not pretty but it’s going to win you some votes.