In anticipation of a new round of attack ads as the campaign enters its final two weeks and he holds a steady lead in the polls, Obama released an attack ad directly labelling McCain as erratic. The ad comes less than a day after the McCain campaigned tried to capitalize on Joe Biden's comments that a President Obama would almost surely be tested by a major crisis within his first few months in office.
Obama TV ad "Erratic:"
Carl Reiner, Jerry Stiller, Anne Meara, Danny Devito, Rhea Perlman, Larry Gelbart, and Valerie Harper team up to target grandparents and support Obama in this lively ad by the Jewish Alliance for Change.
Jewish Alliance for Change ad "Ain't Funny:"
The latest TV ad from the National Rifle Association uses scary images of a mother trying to defend her children from attack in this anti-Obama ad. The NRA's ads can be seen at the website Gunbanobama.
NRA TV ad "Imagine:"
In anticipation of a round of "Joe the Plumber" ads, the Obama campaign released this Web video, "Al the Shoesalesman Gets a Tax Cut," in which the eponymous hero uses the Obama tax cut website to calculate his savings.
The Obama campaign is seeking to benefit from the enthusiasm of its young supporters by urging them to have "the talk" with their parents and get them to vote for Obama. Natalie Portman explains how in this promotional video. The campaign has even created a web page with tips about "the talk."
Bradley Whitford, star of The West Wing, tells Wisconsin voters that "this ain't no stinkin' TV show, this is the real world, and we need to make sure that Barack Obama is the next president."
The websites for Wal-Mart and Sam's Club are featuring exclusive web videos by Obama and McCain as part of a non-partisan effort to promote awareness of the 2008 election. Each candidate was invited to create a series of five three-minute videos, which can be seen at walmart.com and samsclub.com. Earlier this year, the AFL-CIO and several other unions accused Wal-Mart of pressuring employees to vote against Democrats.
Obama Wal-Mart video about the economy:
McCain Wal-Mart video about the economy:
Picking up on the claims behind the "Joe the Plumber" line of attack, this anti-Obama ad features "Mad Mike" explaining why he's afraid that Obama's tax plans would penalize him.
Let Freedom Ring ad "Mad Mike:"
The rap star Jay-Z made this video, using a pro-Obama pitch from a recent concert, and a plea directly to Michigan voters to support the Democratic candidate.
Barack Obama has "unleashed an advertising campaign of a scale and complexity unrivaled in the television era" according to Jim Rutenberg in this comprehensive article in The New York Times, which is accompanied by an interactive feature breaking down the spending on specific ads by the Obama and McCain campaigns, and by independent groups. Click here to go directly to the interactive feature.
The McCain campaign has put out a call on its website asking voters to "make an ad telling us why you are 'Joe the Plumber' in 30 seconds and your video could end up on the air as a TV ad." The call for entries can be seen here.
UPDATE (10/21): An Obama supporter named Baratunde cleverly posted this video so that it appears as the first Google search result for "Joe the Plumber Video Contest." The video leads viewers to Barack Obama's tax cut website.
"I am Joe the Plumber" by Baratunde:
The Republican Jewish Coalition is stepping up its TV ad campaign against Obama with this spot that uses footage of Hillary Clinton criticizing Obama for his statement that he would be willing to meet with world leaders, including the leaders of Iran and Syria. The ad is targeting a traditionally pro-Democratic group, elderly Jewish voters in Florida, Ohio, and several other states.
In another attempt to leaven their attack with humor (which might better be left to Saturday Night Live, MoveOn has created an anti-Palin ad that they plan to air in markets that she is visiting.
More moose humor: Sarah Palin on Saturday Night Live:
Barney Smith, an Indiana worker who spoke at the Democratic Convention, can be seen as a rebuttal to "Joe the Plumber" in this Obama ad in which Smith hits the Main Street vs. Wall Street theme by calling for a president who puts "Barney Smith ahead of Smith Barney."
This Obama Web ad fights back against John McCain's controversial "robocalls" which are linking Obama to William Ayers. The ad leads voters to a website where they can report smears against the candidate.
Obama Web ad on McCain's robocalls:
The Obama campaign launched a new ad aimed at women, attacking the McCain/Palin ticket, on Saturday Night Live on October 18, during the show that featured an appearance by the actual Sarah Palin as well as Tina Fey doing her Palin impersonation.
Obama ad "Obama vs. McCain on Women's Issues:"
Sarah Palin and Tina Fey on Saturday Night Live
Barack Obama...or perhaps, the brand "Barack Obama" has been chosen as "Marketer of the Year" by Ad Age magazine. Obama won the vote, among hundreds of advertising executives and vendors, beating out Apple and Nike, among other brands. In a quote from the Ad Age article:
"I honestly look at [Obama's] campaign and I look at it as something that we can all learn from as marketers," said Angus Macaulay, VP-Rodale marketing solutions "To see what he's done, to be able to create a social network and do it in a way where it's created the tools to let people get engaged very easily. It's very easy for people to participate."
This Obama TV ad targets the traditionally Republican-voting state of Indiana, which has become a battleground state in this year's election. The ad urges early voting.
The Obama campaign returns to health care, one of the key themes of its recent advertising efforts, with this new commercial that attacks McCain's plans, which would require health benefits to be taxed, and which would call for cuts in Medicare funding.
Obama TV ad "It Gets Worse:"
The 527 group National Republican Trust has opened a new line of attack on Obama, over the issue of driver's licenses for illegal immigrants. This is a sensitive political issue; while most voters oppose such licenses, there is strong support for them among Latino voters. The ad combines this hot-button issue with the 9/11 attacks, saying that "the 9/11 plot depended on easy-to-get licenses" and calling Obama "too radical, too risky."
National Republican Trust ad: "License:"