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TV and the election

by Catherine Muriel on 11/4/08

ElectionOver one billion dollars was spent on this election. Plenty of money was spent on television, radio, and of course online advertising. And even with the high price tag, the commercials were unmemorable, and most disturbingly often distorted and then later refuted or explained. Was this a tactic? The damaging remark, and then the retort – oh no we did not really mean that. 

I have never liked advertising that denigrates the competitors – instead focus on the unique selling propositions of your own product. The same can be said for the candidates – all of them – not just the Presidential candidates. Focus on the issues, the distinguishing features that make you stand out from the crowd. And please make the spots interesting, engaging and relevant.

What is truly interesting  is that, even with all of the money spent on advertising, perhaps some of the most memorable moments were thanks to Saturday Night Live. Watching, then watching again and forwarding to your friends through YouTube. Those priceless Tina Fey (aka Sarah Palin) vignettes, Amy Poehler doing her rap piece for Governor Palin and the other members of the crew so expertly mimicking Tom Brokaw, Charlie Gibson, Katie Couric, Senator Obama, Senator McCain and so on.

I would imagine Fred Armisen has a pretty steady job for the next four years playing Senator Obama. Thank you Seth Meyers for keep us laughing in these tough times.

After being bombarded by negative advertising, and swimming in political commentary, I believe we are all ready to return to normalcy. Some of us may even be missing the type of advertising that we found dull or mundane before this election mayhem. I don’t live in Ohio, Indiana, Pennsylvania or any other battleground state, but I would imagine they are ready to return to a world where the most controversial commercials involved the mac vs. pc debate, and the biggest choice touted on TV centered around which air freshener to choose.


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