Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Ads of the Damned: Citizens United, "No on Obamacare"

Ah, here's another example of a faux "issue ad."

This one's actually not too bad at points. It's obviously another generic ad designed to be used in many districts, but the creators were smart enough to make sure the name of the target was repeated three times by the narrator and to include a visual reference each time.

There's plenty of dark and foreboding imagery and things seem to be moving briskly along the path to ruin when, suddenly, the audience is given this:
That's when this spot goes from standard attack ad to pathetic self-parody.

Fear-mongering in political ads has a lot in common with fear-mongering in horror films: often times the suggestion of something scary is far more scary than any kind of monster. The health care debate was perfectly situated for groups like Citizens United to take advantage of one of the most primal fears in the human experience -- the fear of the unknown. Instead, they juxtapose asinine and completely unrelated images like a hydrogen bomb test with Health Care legislation.


Want to know what's scarier than a hydrogen bomb these days? The image of a lab coat-clad doctor closing his door on a patient, shrugging his shoulders and pointing an accusing finger at a large pile of legislation. All it takes is two actors and a door -- no CGI or file footage necessary.

Final Grade: F

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