LRC News

Thursday, October 16, 2008
Teen Rape Victim Speaks Out Against McCain and Palin

In this independent ad, produced by Women Against McCain and Palin, and reportedly run on CNN in at least one market after the third presidential debate, a teenage rape victim emotionally attacks Sarah Palin's position against legalizing abortion for rape victims.

527 Group Women Against McCain and Palin ad "Choice:"

Thursday, October 16, 2008
Hayden Panettiere Makes Fun of McCain in New Public Service Announcement

Taking advantage of her self-described "hotness," Heroes star Hayden Panettiere satirizes John McCain in this comical-yet-serious public service announcement.

See more Hayden Panettiere videos at Funny or Die

Thursday, October 16, 2008
Joe the Plumber Stars in New McCain Attack Ad

Ohio resident Joe Wurzelbacher became the instant star of the third presidential debate when he was referred to repeatedly, as Joe the Plumber, by McCain and then Obama. The McCain campaign released an ad featuring video of an encounter between Wurzelbacher and Obama. Wurzelbacher, and the ad, claim that Obama's tax plan is unfair.

McCain TV ad "Joe the Plumber:"

UPDATE (10/17): Spoof ad, "The Real Joe the Plumber," by the independent group "Plumbers Cracking the Case for Truth:"

Thursday, October 16, 2008
SlateV: Museum Explores the History of Personal Attack Ads

In a new video essay made in collaboration between SlateV and the Museum of the Moving Image, Chief Curator David Schwartz discusses the history of personal attacks in political ads.

Thursday, October 16, 2008
McCain Spanish-language Ad Hits Obama on Jobs and Taxes

McCain's new Spanish-language ad attacks Obama, claiming that he will cause the loss of jobs and will raise taxes.

McCain Spanish-language ad "Riesgo:"

Thursday, October 16, 2008
RNC Ad Asks Whether Obama Is Ready to Lead in Time of Crisis

The Republican National Committee's new ad, questioning whether Obama has the experience to lead in a time of crisis, could have been inspired by a 1988 ad for Democratic candidate Michael Dukakis that asked the same question...about Dan Quayle. Along similar lines is the inventive website Palin as President, which allows vistiros to explore the Oval Office, and click on various objects, to see what things might be like if Sarah Palin becomes president.

RNC Ad "Oct 16:"

1988 Dukakis ad "Oval Office:"

Thursday, October 16, 2008
Obama Debate Ad Responds to McCain's Line "I'm not President Bush"

"Senator Obama, I am not President Bush," one of McCain's key lines at the final presidential debate, is rebutted in this Obama ad that ends with footage of McCain saying he has voted for Bush's policies more than many of his Republican colleagues.

Obama TV ad: "90 Percent"

UPDATE: The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) makes the same argument, in a jazzy ad that cleverly plays with the letters "W" and "M."

SEIU ad "What's the difference:"

UPDATE: In this McCain Web ad, the Republican candidate describes his plans, and creates some distance between himself and the Bush administration, with the opening line "The last years haven't worked very well, have they? I'll make the next four better."

Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Feminists for Obama Web Ad Attacks McCain and Palin

In contrast to Barack Obama, who passed on the opportunity to criticize Sarah Palin, this graphic Web ad by the group Feminists for Obama attacks the McCain/Palin ticket on the issues of breast cancer research funding, domestic violence, and abortion for rape victims.

Feminists for Obama Web ad "The Unholy Trinity:"

Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Obama Releases Positive Education Ad

In this straightforward, positive ad about education, Obama touches on his own modest upbringing, the importance of education in his life, some of his key proposals, including federal support for early childhood education, and a traditionally conservative message urging parents to take responsibility by, among other things, turning off their TV sets. The ad signals the introduction of education as a key issue in the final weeks of the campaign. The ad is also an implicit contrast in style to McCain's attack ads.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008
MoveOn Web Video Pushes Voter Registration

This Web video by MoveOn.Org promotes the organization's young voter registration efforts, claiming that new voters favor Obama over McCain by a two-to-one margin, and that new voters will be 20% of the electorate in battleground states.

MoveOn Web ad "Young Voter Registration Program:"

Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Hybrid McCain/RNC Ad Hits Obama and Congress on Pork Barrel Spending

If this attack ad seems a bit scattershot, it may be because it is what is known as a hybrid, co-funded by the McCain campaign and the Republican National Committee. By combining the attack on Obama with a more general attack on Democrats in congress, the RNC and McCain campaigns can share costs.

McCain/RNC Hybrid ad "Unethical:"

Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Celebrities for Obama: Justin Timberlake, Jessica Biel, and Forest Whitaker

The Obama campaign has been making frequent use of celebrities in web ads and videos. A drop-in by Academy Award winning actor Forest Whitaker at a Michigan campaign office on October 10 was captured on video and turned into an Obama web post. Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel have made a series of cloying (or adorable, depending on your perspective) web ads urging young voters to take advantage of early voting.

Obama web video "Forest Whitaker in Detroit"

Justin Timerblake and Jessica Biel: "Vote Early:"

An early celebrity endorsement...Ronald Reagan for Barry Goldwater:

Wednesday, October 15, 2008
John Rich Country Music Video "Raising McCain"

The most-viewed video on the McCain YouTube channel (aside from ads) is this performance by country music star John Rich of his campaign anthem "Raising McCain."

Music video "Raising McCain:"

Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Obama Campaign Posts Video of the Candidate Canvassing an Ohio Neighborhood

The Obama campaign has been posting mini-documentaries on its website. In this two-minute piece, the candidate canvasses a suburban Ohio neighborhood, posing for photographs, shaking hands, and talking to a postal worker about his plans to protect the postal service from privatization.

Obama web video about canvassing in Ohio:

The Obama documentaries are reminiscent of the Kennedy campaign, which used documentary crews to film encounters between Kennedy and voters:

Wednesday, October 15, 2008
McCain Campaign Fights YouTube Over Copyright and Fair Use Issues

The McCain campaign is in a legal tussle with YouTube, which is owned by Google, over the company's decision to pull some McCain ads from the website over copyright issues, according to this article in The New York Times. In one notable case, the McCain campaign ran an ad using footage of Katie Couric talking about sexism in the coverage of Hillary Clinton. The McCain ad, which was applying Couric's comments to coverage of Sarah Palin, was pulled when CBS objected to unauthorized usage of the news footage. The McCain campaign is claiming that snippets of news footage fall within the definition of fair use.

McCain ad "Lipstick," pulled from YouTube after complaints from CBS:

Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Web Ad Promotes

This new Web ad directs voters to a website that will allow them to calculate their tax cut under Obama's proposal. The ad and website are part of efforts to seize an issue that had previously been controlled by Republicans.

Bob Dole Ad Promises Tax Cuts for All Taxpayers:

Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Atmospheric Hawaii for Obama Web Ad

This evocative soap-opera style Web ad for Obama is targeted at Hawaii voters. Within Obama's main website are separate sites for each of the fifty states.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008
A First: Obama Campaign Buys an Ad In a Video Game

In a first for presidential campaigns, the Obama campaign has bought billboard advertising within the virtual world of the Xbox 360 Racing Game Burnout Paradise. The ad buy was reported in Gigaom, which also reports that in 2006, potential presidential candidate Mark Warner did appear as an avatar at a press conference in Second Life.

Obama billboard in Burnout Paradise:

UPDATE: Politico posted a link to this slideshow of other Obama ads in video games.

UPDATE (10/16): TechPresident ponders the implications, and praises the Obama campaign, for this new advertising technique.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008
David Plouffe Shows Clips From Attack Ads in Obama Fund-Raising Video

In this fund-raising video for Obama supporters, David Plouffe uses a compilation of clips from some of the more notorious attack ads against Obama as a way to motivate his supporters, and encourage them to donate more money.

Monday, October 13, 2008
Family Research Council Attacks Obama on Support for Abortion Rights

This anti-Obama ad attacks the candidate's position on abortion rights, saying that "Obama's top priority as President will be a law to reinstate partial-birth abortion, eliminate parental notification, and force taxpayers to fund abortions?"

527 Anti-Obama ad "Barack Obama, Planned Parenthood, and Freedom of Choice Act:"