Well, I’m sure many of you have heard about John McCain’s latest attack ad, titled “Celeb.”
Before I get into too many details, I’ll give you a chance to watch it:
Now, that ad has certainly raised eyebrows in political circles. I personally enjoyed the Detroit Free Press’s recent headline: “Ad Wars: Obama, McCain … Britney?”
Now, let’s get down to my analysis. Is McCain right in saying that Obama is the world’s biggest celebrity? If not, the claim is pretty close to true. I’d say he’s probably right, depending on how you’re going to defin celebrity. The point is, Obama is about as popular as chocolate right now (speaking of chocolate, I’m gonna go grab another Snickers ice cream bar – those things are awesome!). But, does McCain really have room to talk? In my opinion, BOTH Obama and McCain won their party’s nominations, in large part, due to the media factor. I’ve said NUMEROUS times that it was the media’s latching on to a couple New Hampshire polls that gave him momentum there, and then on to Michigan (where he performed well against Mitt Romney), and on to South Carolina.
Do I think that comparing Obama to Paris Hilton and Britney Spears was a little over the line? Not really. It was a little harsh maybe (it was harsh to Hilton, saying she’s basically equal to Britney Speares!), but I think it was just intended as a little bit of fun. And compared to political ads in the past, this is nothing. Take the Daisy Ad of 1964 (Lyndon Johnson’s ad against Barry Goldwater), which essentially said, if you vote for Goldwater, your little girl is gonna get melted by a nuke. The only other attack ad that comes close to that was the Willie Horton Ad of 1988, but that was an issue ad.
The point is, this is a JOKE compared to some of the ads that we’ve had before. And McCain even CONFIRMS this: “We were having some fun. We were having some fun with our supporters that we sent it out to and we’re gonna display a sense of humor in this campaign.” That comment was made in regards to a different ad, “The One,” but the premise remains the same. McCain later said, “This is a very respectful campaign. I’ve repeated my admiration and respect for Senator Obama. … I don’t think our campaign is negative in the slightest. I’m, we think it’s got a lot of humor in it and we’re having fun and enjoying it. And that is what campaigns are going to be like.”
Now, on to the substance of the ad: the ad talks briefly about Obama and oil/taxes. Although the transition from celebrity to issues seemed very abrupt and awkward (one of the reasons I didn’t like the ad that much), it kinda says that McCain has a better stance on oil/energy and taxes (which he does, in my opinion), but doesn’t go into as many details as he sould’ve. He leaves it open for Obama to do a counter-ad, which he does, and pulls off a much more effective ad than McCain did, although I still think Obama’s energy plan stinks.
McCain’s ad’s grades: Style: B+. Substance: C-. Overall grade: C+
Obama’s ad: Style: B. Substance: A. Overall: B+
So, ultimately, I think that McCain’s ad was funny, but failed as an ad because Obama had a better counter.
Tags: 1964 Election, 2008 Election, Ad, Attack Ad, Barack Obama, Barry Goldwater, Britney Spears, Campaign, Campaign Ad, Celeb Ad, Daisy Ad, Democrat, Election, energy, Gas, Gas Prices, Gasoline, Gasoline Prices, General Election, High Gas Prices, John McCain, Lyndon Johnson, oil, Paris Hilton, Politics, Republican, Tax, Taxes, The One Ad, Willie Horton Ad