Good campaign video, bad campaign video

It’s just a couple days until the new president takes office, so apparently it’s time for the next campaigns to begin. And the campaign world gave us two videos today, one produced professionally, and the other, well, the other looks like a local car dealership with a bad attitude.

First, here we have the campaign announcement of former Colorado state senator Mike Johnston for governor of Colorado:

There it is: soaring music, inspirational story, gorgeous video production. Now, I give you an ad from Corey Stewart, who is running for Virginia governor in what looks to be a crowded Republican primary. It’s set to be aired during the inauguration programing Friday, and, well, brace yourself because it’s quite terrible:

Yeah, how about that awful typography, low-budget visuals, and that weird public domain music at an uncomfortably mixed volume? Living in the future as we do, with surpluses of excellent tools for both professional and amateur video production, it’s become jarring when an ad looks and sound as terrible as a 1990s local village pizza place ad. But I guess he does beat liberals again, again and again, so what do I know.


Great Moments in Campaign Advertising: Confessions of a Republican

Often overshadowed by LBJ’s infamous “Daisy” ad, “Confessions of a Republican” is great mostly because it’s so weird. It’s also really long—four minutes and change. I haven’t been able to figure out when exactly it aired, or how really, because four-minute ad breaks aren’t particularly common even now (and TV commercial breaks have stretched drastically in recent years).

In the ad, an actor (although the ad doesn’t say as much) talks about how he’s always been a Republican, but the party’s candidate that year, Sen. Goldwater, is too extreme for his comfort. Sure, this is mostly an artifact of the era during which party affiliation was determined more by lineage than political ideology. He goes on to light a cigarette (!) and say that if the KKK is supporting the candidate, either they’re not a Republican or he isn’t. Anyway it’s a fun ad to watch, so enjoy.

Hell Bent for Election

So this is friggin’ cool. Above is an animated film directed by Chuck Jones that was basically a union-sponsored campaign ad for FDR. From the YouTube description:

Hell-Bent For Election was a 1944 two-reel (thirteen minute) animated cartoon short subject now in the public domain. The short was one of the first major films from United Productions of America (then known as “Industrial Films”), which would go on to become the most influential animation studio of the 1950s. As UPA did not have a full staff or a studio location until the late-1940s, this film was made in animator Zack Schwartz’s apartment with the help of moonlighters from various local Hollywood animation studios. Among the moonlighters was Chuck Jones, who directed the film.

The film is an allegorical campaign film, designed to inspire viewers to register and to vote for Franklin D. Roosevelt. The Democratic Party candidate, Roosevelt, is depicted as a then-modern streamlined steam locomotive, the Win the War Special, pulling a high-speed freight train of war materiel, whereas his Republican opponent Thomas E. Dewey is depicted as an old creaky steam locomotive, the Defeatist Limited (numbered 1929 as a nod to the 1929 stock market crash) pulling cars variously representing hot air, high prices, taxes, business as usual ( a sleeper car), poor housing for war workers, and finally a caboose named “Jim Crow.” The conflict in the film centers on Joe, a railroad switch operator who represents the American voting public. He is warned by the station master, Sam (a representation of Uncle Sam), not to fall asleep at the switch as he did in November 1942. Joe must then decide whether to listen to the influence of a cigar smoking gnome-like Dewey supporter and wrecker who tries to make him fall asleep at the switch, or to fight his influence and make sure that the FDR “Win the War Special” stays on the track. (At one point, the phantasmagoric saboteur briefly metamorphosizes into Adolf Hitler whilst trying to beguile Sam into neglecting his duties.) After a notable nightmare sequence, Joe pulls the switch, sidelining the Defeatist Limited. The film ends with a paean to the bountiful post-war world to come; the Win the War Special’s caboose is the Post War Observation Car, and generic constituencies such as Joe Soldier, Joe Farmer, J. Industrialist, Joe Industrialist, Jr., and Joe Worker are shown examining fold-out brochures depicting the benefits of the American post-war world.

H/T to Crooked Timber, who also noticed that the film also interestingly is probably the first to tie Jim Crow to the Republican candidate.

We’re only 65% sure that Rep. Vance MacAllister’s wife is not being held hostage hashtag blessed

First, I want you to look at this:

That’s U.S. soccer superstar Landon Donovan while appearing on ESPN during this summer’s World Cup. That’s also the face of a man that we’re pretty sure is being held hostage and is reading his captors’ demands.

Now, we have another super creepy and weird political ad today (earlier). This one is from Louisiana Representative Vance MacAllister, who really, really wants to remind you that he and his wife a super-duper Christians hashtag blessed.

You see, the problem with this whole “I’m wicked Christian” thing is that Vance got caught making out with a lady who isn’t his wife. But that’s okay—because he is blessed to have “a wonderful Christian wife,” so that makes it okay because she is blessed “to have a husband that owns up to his mistakes.”

But good lord, are we sure she isn’t being held hostage?

Weird and creepy political ad is weird and creepy

Here’s a new gem for the archives in the annals of weird-ass political ads. In this one, titled “Dating Profile,” from Americans for Shared Prosperity (some Californian rich guy’s Super PAC) a sad love-worn woman is mad about her boyfriend president.

Because the reason women voted for “Barack” was because they were “in love,” because he was “smart, handsome, charming articulate, all the right values.”

Weird, though, because she knows she’s stuck with him for two more years (this analogy sure is holding up well), but she know she doesn’t have to hang out with his friends or something (no, really, this analogy is really good)?

It’s all kinds of creepy, pretty super sexist, and wicked weird. So, perfect for our collection of amazing political ads.