Wednesday, April 20, 2011


The Hill reports:

Democrats are seeking funds to air a 30-second spot on Republicans' Medicare plans in House Speaker John Boehner's (R-Ohio) district.

Rep. Steve Israel (N.Y.), the chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), wrote supporters to solicit enough funds by midnight on Wednesday....

"We just cut a creative new ad to break through the clutter and take the fight directly to Republican Speaker John Boehner," Israel wrote to the DCCC email list....

In case you haven't seen the ad yet, here it is:

John Cole likes it. Steve Benen likes it. Me, I've gotta go with stopthemadness's take:

It’s the Teabilly KEEP TEH GUVERNMINT OFF MAH MEDIKARE crowd that we need to reach (as if we ever could; oh and independents, but they’re boring).

The Teabilly crowd? Those people won’t know what they just saw -- they'll think it’s a commercial for a Boys' and Girls' Club for Old People.

Teabillies respond to one thing, and one thing only: FEAR!

...I mean seriously -- an old dude in his underwear prancing around with some hotties isn't gonna cut it.

And D-Day's take:

Why would you play this funny? Why give the message that old people are worthy of derision, essentially because they’re old? This looks like a really bad Super Bowl spot when the issue discussed is deadly serious. Republicans are claiming that the ad represents “scare tactics” but no, I could show you scare tactics. A closeup of a senior's hand as she struggles in the last throes of life and then pulling out to reveal she’s laying on the middle of the sidewalk as white men in suits ignore her, that's scare tactics. This looks like a GoDaddy ad.

... why is the focus on basically getting amusement out of the old man's condition with the walker? And then there’s the strange third segment. When the bachelorettes come to the door, I have no idea what's going on. The old guy is dressed like a firefighter, and given that the women are all screaming, it's just as plausible at first glance that he's moonlighting as a firefighter.... Only a few seconds later do you figure out that he's a stripper, and are again told to laugh at the old man's expense.

Who the hell did this ad? Why would you wring out all the pathos and human consequences out of ending Medicare in favor of “cutting through the clutter” and going all jokey-jokey?

The tone here should be ominous -- the ad doesn't have to spread fear in a hysterical way, but, rather, in a quiet-but-deadly-serious, gathering-storm-clouds, subtle-minor-chords-in-the-background way. That's how right-wingers would play this. That's how you do a right-wing ad about gay marriage, for crissakes. Why not use this tone for something that actually is a serious threat to the target audiences well-being?

No comments: