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  • Conservative Ads Gone Bad

       September 27, 2004

    Folks in Wisconsin are constantly bombarded with national political advertising. I'd estimate that one of every six ads I see are political. I've seen all the MoveOn ads, the Swiftie ads as well as everything produced by both campaigns.

    In the last few days I've seen several pro-Bush ads from the Progress for America Voter Fund. While I appreciate their efforts on behalf of the President, I wonder if they're actually undermining him because of how awful their ads actually are.

    Compare their surfer dude ad with the Bush campaign's similar windsurfing ad. They both make the same point, but the Bush ad does so in an elegant, classy way, while the Progress ad is tacky and amateurish. These ads are for a Presidential candidate, not Mentos.

    Even worse are the ads that are supposed to be serious. Check out the rest of the spots on the Progress website. Now, I have no problem with the content, but I swear to God that Doug Jeffers does the voiceover. He's the same guy who narrates Miller High Life ads.

    In the commercials, Jeffers' oratory is one of a rugged, traditional High Life man who shares his strong male viewpoints on the world in a no-nonsense manner.

    (Unfortunately, I couldn't find an example of the High Life commercials online, but Miller's High Life website does have a little summary of the campaign. Hopefully, that'll jog your memory.)

    So, this persona isn't really that far from Bush's image. But the problem is that the High Life ads are satire. By using the same guy (or, if it's not him, then using someone who sounds exactly like him), they run the risk of making their own ads sound like a joke. And these are ads that are about the war on Terror and how Bush takes it so seriously compared to Kerry. They are just a disaster.

    If I were on either the Bush or Kerry campaign I'd be terrified more by the 527s that support me than those that oppose me. In their zealousness to "help" their candidates they could instead be doing irreparable harm.

    Posted by at September 27, 2004 09:02 AM

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