Repetition can and has proved a deadly political strategy in recent months, but has it necessarily won out voters? I’d like to cite a quote by former USSR leader Vladimir Lenin, reading:

 “A lie told often enough becomes truth.”

The strategic beauty of this quote is simply because it has essentially lasted into the present and proved itself when associated with the past. But what is arguable is that campaigns have put this quote into practice — with political ads. 

With a seventh grade education (and counting), I am not ready to make a statement about a past world war nor am I about to call anything or everything thrown around the political spectrum a “lie,” but it is unimaginable not to disregard that the concept of Lenin’s quote has surrounded our daily lives. Living in California, media outlets and advertising are close to impossible to escape, only escalating as the voting season has transitioned itself into full swing. But what it also noticeable is the volume in which these ads are coming.

For example, Proposition 8, aimed at taking away certain gay rights, has been advertised almost entirely against by No On 8, with a ratio of 5:1 to their opposition, Yes On 8. This lopsided press swing shows a win in funding to No On 8, but it also begs the question: could more ads from one campaign than another ultimately win a large number of votes? 

Obviously gay marriage is an issue that isn’t likely to be effected by the press, but is this also the same in the fragile politics of a national election? 

What strikes me even more is the similarly advertising and funding wise between Barack Obama and No On 8 — both have sufficiently more ads and money than the opposing campaign, and both are seemingly in the lead. 

So I’ll ask the commenters once more — has Obama’s frequent on-air time and sufficient donation lead effected the polls, and will it effect the voting booth?

Presidential races have had a history of being dirty and under the rug, and political cheap shots were never hard to find. But this year, in an already breakthrough election, candidates have thrown out more ads recently than ever before. Political standoffs between two parties or campaigns have usually resulted (or been the result) of an attack ad, complicating already very political situations by letting the general public have an unusually high say on the outcome. Thus, TV spots have turned into political weapons — with endings both beneficent and disastrous to their authors. 

Most recently, these political ads taken huge strides in the form of attacks back and forth from the two remaining candidates, Barack Obama and John McCain. Although Obama has just recently started sending out “attack” ads, mostly as responses to McCain’s harsh accusations. The first real sign of this was McCain’s “Celebrity” ad, which was the result of a non lethal (in the sense of attacks) but heated standoff between the two senators.

The ad, sent out by a semingly fearless McCain squad, compared Obama to the star-struck Britney Spears and Paris Hilton, and was responded to in a surprising fashion — by Hilton herself. The response was brilliantly played out to both send a message to McCain, and — as another topic — improve Hilton’s public status. It worked, flooding out McCain’s original ad and setting the stage for Obama’s more political response, which delivered a more serious but at the same time up-beat message. 

This was really the start of McCain’s continuous but mild public downpour, in which his previous political gaffes have come back to haunt him, including his Iraq-Pakistan border nightmare as well as his foreign policy mistake in Jordan, pictured, which occurred during a press confrence.Obama, though, has never capitalized on these public weaknesses. Taking a position many politicians in his would have quickly decided against, the senator will only fight once attacked. This way, not only has he kept a very clean slate, he has had time to asses the attacks aimed at him, quickly differ what he can say, and then release a public spot with many more directions and points to make than McCain. This, however, has never been referred to as “weak.” Obama’s team has carefully picked apart attacks (some of this is public) and assessed where they can attack and how they can cover up their softer political spots.

A great example of this was Obama’s second major attack ad towards McCain, named “Fix the Economy“. The ad was placed a few days after the “celebrity” fiasco, and is applauded by myself as well as many political experts for its seemingly perfect timing.

The spot aired during the dubbed “aftermath” of the war-like celebrity dispute, where the public was waiting for more moves from the two campaigns. Obama immediately recognized the situation and sent out what I like to call his “smoke grenade.” Geared towards a topic not mentioned around that time due to the previous Iraq-centered debates, Obama took footage of McCain claiming the American economy was in good shape and threw it against clips of American’s disagreeing with him intently. The ad was politically and factually sound down to the finest details, even including the states the Americans lived in, which were battleground swing-states for Obama and McCain (Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky ect.) that are currently up for grounds in a political perspective. 

I call the ad a “smoke grenade” because it both did tremendous damage and put a cloud of smoke in-between the conservatives and the general public. The points made in the ad sent the McCain party wheeling for a response, and the eerie gap of time made an effective bad aftertaste towards the republicans publicly. What I mean by this is since political attacks were plentiful up to that point for weeks, the world had prepared itself for a McCain attack. But in a sense, it never came. So who can we credit this to? In my opinion, it has really been the work of Obama’s campaign working together, headed by the smart PR decisions of Jim Messina, the Chief of Staff. 

So as McCain keeps pumping out attack ads (here is the newest and the response), Obama will keep bouncing them back in the same way he always does — sifting through the ad and hitting hard on the facts. And that’s why Obama is not only winning in the PR department as well as the television side — he’s dominating.

Although it hasn’t exactly been breaking news that sinking software-God Microsoft has hired America’s favorite family comedian Jerry Steinfeld to promote their previously poorly advertised Vista, the big question still remains: was it really worth it?

Dumping 10 million dollars on a single promoter (in my opinion) was really something that shows the outside world that Windows has a failing operating server, and they know it. If you think about it, Mac didn’t make much noise by hiring lesser-known Actors Justin Long and John Hodgman, and in a sense they really came out of nowhere with that strategy in delivering one of the greatest ad campaigns ever assembled. And in Microsoft’s more high profile recruiting of Jerry Steinfeld, they have really taken another approach. Will it work? It all depends on Steinfeld.

Obviously, the most effective ads have been brought out by the advertising company, but really executed by the actors in the actual ad. And because of that, Microsoft really needs to focus on pumping out a lot of their time on a great supporting cast (if there requires one) and a great director. If that doesn’t fall into place, Microsoft needs to spend their next ten million on a new operating system.

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Genius marketing mixed in with perfect tactics and fan support have made senator Obama’s new ads as effective as ever. After McCain’s celebrity attack ads geared towards Paris Hilton and Britney Spears as well as the Illinois senator, a response ad was imminent — and hyped. 

And did it come, in Obama’s first attack ad: “Embrace”, which turned the tables on the popular political ‘celebrity’ topic and focused on the popular web video of McCain hugging current President George Bush — who has now become public enemy #1 for the Democrats. More notably though, “Embrace” was truly the first full-fledged attack on McCain, and in my opinion it came at the best time. 

Although he has been steadily gaining on Obama’s lead in the polls, McCain’s PR has been on the decline recently, starting with his Iraq-Pakistan border gaffe and continuing with his recent attack commercials that seem to have little thought and research thrown into them. And because of this they have been ripped to pieces publicly by Obama staff and then discussed in numerous liberal blogs and forums.

On the flipside, Obama’s ads have been technically defensive responses with savvy quotes and researched facts, which have strangely been untouched by the right wing so far. His second ad, “Economy” was a simple but genius approach which has not been yet done before, but startled viewers. Starring McCain’s economic gaffs and disagreeing American citizens, on air the ad was very convincing — although it is very, very possible the people in the ad were the ones who agreed with Obama. But what not many people realize is that the Americans in the ad were from some of Obama’s weakest states, including Ohio, Indiana, and Kentucky — where the average Joe would probably a McCain guy. This may have gone unnoticed by many, but it was a great idea for the campaign to exploit that weakness in a public way.

But not only is Obama winning in the advertising category, he’s orchestrating McCain attacks every day — most without him knowing. Obama’s fans have played a huge role in his campaign, and they have continued to on the web, where “first door on the left” type of blogs are sending out disses and attacks to the republican side with appeal to everything from McCain’s secret service to remixes of his gaffs and views being ridiculed by “experts”. 

So as Obama continues on with his hyped running mate decision and television ads, he knows one thing for sure — he won’t be alone. Far from it.

 

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There have been many bad choices made by Paris Hilton, but after John McCain’s ad blaming her for being a “celebrity” along with Barack Obama, her latest decision would be described a genius, or for a more “Paris” point of view – totally hot.

Appearing on a pool lounger in her signature skimpy swimsuit, Hilton’s response commercial was literately the perfect thing to do, a one minute speech covering everything from why John McCain was too old to be president to her hilarious energy proposal. Obviously the editing and script was written by someone with an IQ that’s over the age of my dog, but nether the less, I think it was brilliant for Paris to include herself in it. I applaud her for not taking a “Stars are Blind” approach and admitting her obsessive stardom while also making perfectly constructed remarks that completely awesome. The response ad in all was both brilliantly designed politically, but it could be followed and enjoyed by everyone watching it from a thirteen year old to a eighty year old.

As far as John McCain’s campaign, he needs a new head of advertising. He is repeatedly airing commercials that are not only incredibly cheesy, but are so vulnerable for both political and (as we have seen) celebrity backfires. He is getting sloppy, and everyone watching his ads can figure it out. Here is the ad 

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