James Hayman: Today’s November 5th and tomorrow we thankfully reach the end of the longest and, in terms of the campaign TV advertising, the sleaziest. As a political junkie and former advertising guy I thought it would be interesting (regardless of our personal politics) to point out the political TV spot the truly hit the bottom of the barrel. For me it was a commercial that was so over the top it left me speechless. It opened on a supposed Chinese Communist official dressed in drab grey addressing row after row of other drab Chinese officials seated on benches and also dressed in drab grey. The speaker (who looks like a villain out of an early Bond movie) speaks only in Chinese but the subtitles tell us what he is saying: How the second Obama administration borrowed so much money from the Chinese that the US “Now belongs to us”. The listeners all chuckle evilly at this. Heh-heh-heh.
Kate Flora: I confess that I rarely watch any television that has commercials, and during the political season, I make an even greater effort to be absent. Indeed, most of the political ads that I see are part of the West Wing, to which I am addicted. Disgusted with elections in which I am most often voting “against” the candidates I don’t want instead of “for” the ones who get my vote, I am hoping, without much optimism, for a house cleaning if this congress can’t get together, or a third party that will inject some common sense into all of this. Still, Jim’s question sent me off to youtube, where I spent a lot of time I’m supposed to using to make this week’s NaNoWriMo quota watching political ads. And here is my nominee not for sleaziest, but for deliciously nasty, dark, and entertaining, from Carly Fiorina’s California campaign. Check out this bucolic wolf in sheep’s clothing romp: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wo_Ejfc5hW8
Kaitlyn Dunnett here. So many choices! And in this year’s Maine senate race, most of the truly awful (and needless to say, inaccurate) ads came from out of state. Still, I have to say that for pure nastiness, my nominee in the sleazy ad campaign sweepstakes dates all the way back to the first election I voted in, in 1968. I was not a fan of Richard Nixon, whose slogan was “Nixon’s the One,” but even as a twenty-one-year-old opposed to the war in Viet Nam, I thought that the poster below hit a new low. What makes it worse, when you stop and think about it, is that the initial reaction of most people to seeing this for the first time is a laugh.
Thank goodness that by the time this group blog appears on the 11th, all the political ads will have disappeared from the media.
Note: Many of us are at a mystery conference this weekend, and not able to contribute…but we encourage our readers to share their stories, ads, and thoughts.