Thursday, October 26, 2006

Campaign Ad nauseam

Why do candidates even bother with campaign advertising?

I know, I know. I can answer my own question. They bother with it because it works. They make horrible ads – I mean c’mon the amateurishness of these ads is downright offensive – because a PR firm or election consultant told them that they can get n percentage of a lift in the polls if they do.

Trouble is, the ads are all the same. And I don’t just mean that the Democrats ads are just like all the other Democrats ads or that the Republicans ads are just like all the other Republicans ads. I mean all ads are the same, they all say the same thing and they have for years (I’ve been voting for nearly 20 years now).

In a year when we’re finally seeing a little original creativity out of Hollywood (a drama show about a comedy show? Now that’s something I can watch), the advertising firms are sticking to the same old hyperbolic, melodramatic bullshit that they know will appeal to the lowest common denominator.

Here's one example. The original poster noted that “who say’s Democrats aren’t fighting back.” I’m not sure what that means, but when Dan points to an ad, I go and watch. The ad is a bunch of hyper-emotional drivel about how if you don't support stem cells, you daughter is going to die of diabetes, your son is going to die a car crash and your wife is going to develop Alzheimer's. You shouldn't vote for Rep. Chocola because he didn't vote for stem cells.

Let me be clear on this. I'm in favor of stem cell research. There's a lot to be learned just for the sake of basic science, let alone cures for every disease known to man. And besides, the state of Missouri has enough excess chromosomes to keep pharmaceutical companies busy for years.

But the way that ad slaps you in the face with a fake emotional appeal just makes me want to gag on a cloned fetus. What happened to the so-called rational, scientific community supporting this initiative?

(I also get a kick out of the people, many of whom rant daily about the Bush administration being in bed with big corporations, who don't see that the big pharmaceutical companies are going to make tons of dinero on this stem cell thing. Hypocrisy can be so subtle sometimes.)

Anyway, the problem with this approach is that it works on the mindless sheep who think CSI is compelling television. At the same time, it's a huge turnoff to people who want real information about where candidates stand on any given issue.

Imagine this fantasy world: Instead of hearing how Mr. Candidate wants your baby dead because he didn't "vote for stem cells" (I didn't know stem cells could run for office), how about telling me specifically how Mrs. Candidate would use her position to support stem cell research.

But I guess campaign advertising is a good proving ground for when candidates are actually elected. They have to learn how to speak without actually saying anything.

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1 comment:

  1. EMAW_KC,

    Perhaps you have already seen this political ad. Talk about a wonderful change. It's a treat. Seriously. I have a feeling it is going to set a new standard.

    But besides this one example, you are absolutely right (I think).



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