November 28, 2007 – Classic Campaign Ads

I’m such a geek.  I stayed up until some ridiculous hour this morning, surfing YouTube for political campaign ads — and thought I’d post a few here.

This is one of the most effective ads ever made.  It’s from the Bush Sr./Dukakis matchup.  It works because it rings true to voters and taps into a very real fear.  Incidentally, it was made by Roger Ailes (now Chairman of Fox News) and Lee Atwater — two of the most brilliant communications strategists that my business has ever seen.

Here’s probably the most famous political ad, made by Democratic President Lyndon Johnson during the 1964 campaign against .  The implication is that Repub nominee Barry Goldwater (a guy who even HILLARY CLINTON campaigned for at the time) would get into a nuclear war with the Russians.  The ad obviously worked because Johnson won by a landslide.

 Finally, here are a couple of ads by far-right French candidate Jean-Marie Le Pen of the Front National.  The implication of the first one — which uses the movie about Joan of Arc to make its point — is that Sarkozy (the conservative candidate who’s now president) would get France involved in American-led wars.  It’s a bit much.  The second one apparently appeals to people who play video games, as it really doesn’t have much of a purpose or point otherwise.

Compare these now with one of the ads by the winning candidate (Sarkozy).  All of his TV spots had the same format, but played on different messages.  In this one, he speaks of a France in which immigrants are welcome, but must embrace the French culture and identity.


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