Attack ad

Voters dislike negative campaigning…or do they?

The video above was the first attack ad…simple yet effective. It started the war of negative advertising.

Fifty years ago—on the night of Monday, Sept. 7, 1964—an innocent little girl plucking flower petals in a sun-splashed field helped usher in a revolution in American political advertising. The 60-second television spot that featured her disjointed counting exploded, literally and figuratively, all notions of what it meant to effectively persuade voters with paid political advertising.

The little girl counted as she plucked flower petals. Unseen birds chirped happily. As her counting ended, viewers suddenly heard a mission control announcer begin a countdown. As he neared zero, the girl’s image froze as the camera zoomed into her right eye until her pupil filled the screen and was replaced by a nuclear blast and mushroom cloud. As the apocalyptic scene unfolded, President Lyndon Johnson’s reedy drawl entered the spot, ending with the admonition, “we must either love each other or we must die.”

The so-called “Daisy Girl” spot created by Johnson’s New York advertising firm aired only once as a paid commercial during the 1964 presidential campaign. An estimated 50 million voters saw it during NBC’s “Monday Night at the Movies”—the film was “David and Bathsheba.” Another 50 million or more saw it again, or for the first time, later that week when the three television networks aired the unique, powerful spot in their newscasts.

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Liberals attack…hard

This is the Liberals latest attack ad…

I love negative campaigning…that video will hurt because it is true.

DEPUTY Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, Foreign Minister Bob Carr, outgoing Labor Party boss Sam Dastyari have been linked to corrupt former MPs Eddie Obeid and Ian MacDonald in a new series of Liberal Party attack TV ads due to be rolled out across NSW tonight.  Read more »

Some things #Laboursgottalent contenders might say

I’ll just bet the Labour’s got Talent contestants will utter at least a few of these things that losing candidates say:

Some of them will win, but most will lose. So we’ve started taking notes on some sure-fire ways that candidates end up in the latter camp. Here’s a working set of six buzz phrases that almost always guarantee that the candidates uttering them are headed toward defeat.

  1. “I’m running a grass-roots campaign.” This translates to: “I’m not going to raise any money.” Running an effective grass-roots and get-out-the-vote operation is important for a campaign, but winning a competitive [electorate] race requires multiple millions of dollars to make your case in paid advertising.
  2. “The only poll that matters is the poll on Election Day.” This doesn’t guarantee defeat in the upcoming election, but it means you are losing the race at the time and have no empirical evidence to the contrary. It’s up to the candidate to change the dynamic of the race.   Read more »

Sour Susie: When negative attack ads backfire

There is a a truism about negative attack ads…they must be truthful. Kevin Rudd and Labour have had a massive push back over their “Sour Susie” ads:

It turns out that “Sour Susie” is an actress and not a real concerned mum, and that her lifestyle is afar different from that portrayed in the advert.

THE actress mother hired to bag Tony Abbott in a negative Labor TV ad campaign actually lives with her parents, enjoying their gourmet food and wines, while whingeing about the price of Spanish handmade tiles.  Read more »

Great Campaign Ads, Ctd

from The Living Room

The Bush/Quayle ad “Tank Ride” ad from 1988:

The inaccurate yet devastating ad “Tank Ride” not only helped guarantee Governor Michael Dukakis’s defeat, it also created a lasting impression. In the fall of 2008, the first three images of Dukakis returned from a Google Search of his name are from the unfortunate photo opportunity that was staged by the Dukakis campaign on September 13, 1988, to counter the impression that the Democratic candidate was weak on defense. While many of the claims made in the narration and scrolling text are erroneous or misleading, the image of Dukakis smiling, in an oversized helmet, did not have the intended effect. The ad was produced by Greg Stevens, whose company Stevens, Reed, Curcio and Potholm created the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth ads in 2004. The Dukakis campaign directly countered “Tank Ride” with the ad “Counterpunch.” When the Dukakis response ad appeared on the news, cultural historian Kiku Adatto described it as “a quintessentially modernist image of artifice upon artifice: television news covering a Dukakis commercial containing a Bush commercial containing a Dukakis media event.” As modern as this spectacle may have been, the attack ad “Tank Ride” was an expression of an old trope; the notion that the Democratic candidate cannot be trusted as commander in chief.

Politics has got nastier?

There are some who say that politics has gotten nastier over the years. In the US in particular there are claims that with all the attack ads politics is very nasty. The same is said about Australia.

Here in New Zealand we practice politics in a somewhat polite manner, with the exception of the false and often nasty attacks that Labour uses.

The key rule for attack ads is for them to be honest, brutally honest. Trevor mallard forgets this when he mounts his attacks on opponents, often totally fact free.

But has politics gotten nastier?

Perhaps not.

Do you really know Julia Gillard?

Attack ads are brilliant. In Australia and in the US these ads are used extensively, and they are the most honest. If you are going to attack someone you have to get stuff right.

This ad from the Liberals in Australia is superb.

And Angry Anderson isn’t too enamored with Labor either.