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2008 Prez Election

Obama Outspends McCain on Ads Slash the World is Ending

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A report came out yesterday stating that from Sept. 28 through Oct. 4, the Obama camp spent $17.8 million on ads compared to a measly $11 million between McCain and the RNC combined. Juxtapose that to a similar week during the 2004 election, when John Kerry and George Bush spent just $18 million (heh, just…) and a couple questions come to mind. For instance, why has the election process come to be so costly and what will candidates in the next election have to spend in order for us to choose the lesser of two whatevers?

The study, by the University of Wisconsin Advertising Project, breaks down the ad spends by state and compares them to the ad spends of the 2004 election &#151 also by state.

“Ten of the fifteen states where both candidates are advertising were won by Bush in the 2004 election,” said Ken Goldstein, professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and director of the project. “The campaign is being played on the Republican side of the field this year.”

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Another notable note; nearly 100 percent of McCain’s ads were negative in nature whereas (in our assertion) Obama has tended to stay in the positive arena. However, Obama is outspending his opponent in almost every market, begging the question; how sad is it that massive amounts of money are being spent on delivering pointless messages that do more to kowtow to potential voters’ needs than actually explain a candidate’s plan?

Click continued to see where this is going.

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Goodby, Silverstein Line Up Against McCain

Supposedly, these ads were paid for by Jeff Goodby and Rich Silverstein. We’re in the midst of confirming that. In the mean time, enjoy. Ooohh… much better than usual “approved” messages coming out of both camps.

Tacit Tactics: John McCain Screwed by Own Words

A new spot by the DNC aims to put Sen. John McCain to task on his recent slate of attack ads against Sen. Barack Obama.

The spot: After briefly rolling through a number of anti-Obama attack ads, the ad shows Sen. McCain (in 2000) saying, “I just have to rely on the good judgment of the voters not to buy into these negative attack ads (Ed’s note: we presume he’s referring to those that aired during the 2000 election). Sooner or later, people are going to figure out that if all you run is negative attack ads, you don’t have much of a vision for the future or you’re not ready to articulate it.”

Context people! Obviously, McCain would say this way back when, before the realities of the presidential election race were in front of him. Everyone knows that the best way to swing voters is by trashing your opponent*. Look, why talk about the good things you’re doing when you could make the other guy look bad by misrepresenting his voting record et cetera?


More:McCain Uses the “C” Word to Describe Obama

Updated: Obama Camp Ignores NBC Cease and Desist in Recent Spot

The spot above depicts a mock election night during which Sen. John McCain has won the presidential election, 51-49 percent, over Sen. Barack Obama. Anchoring the faux election is NBC’s Tom Brokaw, and Keith Olbermann (also of NBC fame) can also be heard. Apparently, NBC is pissed that the guys were improperly used (without NBC’s consent, of course) in the ad.

The spot drew the attention of NBC a day or so ago, at which point they sent the Obama camp (which posted the spot on YouTube for VoteForChange dot org) a cease-and-desist letter. But so far, the video has not been taken down.

Read the rest of the drama, after the jump.

More:Droga’s In The Middle Of An Obama, Silverman Sandwich

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Advertising, Muslims, The Election And A Newspaper Fall-Out

The Oregonian and 70 other newspapers have come under fire for distributing a DVD as an advertising insert that many are calling “anti-Muslim propaganda.” The mini-movie called “Obsession: Radical Islam’s War Against the West” was created by Raphael Shore and media watch group HonestReporting. It was distributed by the Clarion Fund. You can watch an abridged version above. The newspaper has since been besieged with protesters outside of its office and letters/calls of complaints.

The regional newspaper’s publisher, Fred Stickel, said The Oregonian distributed the “DVD because it has an obligation to make its advertising as open as possible under the principle of free speech.”
The mayor of Oregon pleaded with the paper not to distribute it.

Meanwhile, North Carolina paper, The Greensboro News & Record, rejected the ad calling it “fear-mongering.” Editor, John Robinson, has said: “Of course it’s not free speech… Newspapers decide not to publish information every day. Most of the time we call it news judgment.”

Is this a case of a newspaper being so desperate for dollars that anything will fly? Keep in mind that The Oregonian is in the middle of offering buy-out deals to staffers, as are other newspapers under the Advance Publications banner.

Or is it tied into the election as The Guardian is speculating considering that the DVDs were sent to swing states (Ohio, Michigan, Florida)? More likely, it’s a bit of both. It definitely takes two to tango.

More: An Ad Exec Wants You To Pray For Sarah Palin

Barack And John Spend Serious Cash On Broadcast


The debates are starting. If you’re reading this at 8:59 PM, I hope to high heaven that you are multi-tasking. As a kick-off to the debate fun, did you know that the political broadcast advertising spend is going to reach its all time high this election year? According to CNN:

“Spending on political television advertising this campaign cycle exceeded $1 billion this week, and is on pace to reach $3 billion by Election Day.”

The ad spend just gets higher every year with spending in 2004 totaling $1.7 billion and in $2.4 billion in 2006. Barack and John are estimated to be spending 3 million a day, for the next three days in the run up to the big vote.

Droga’s In The Middle Of An Obama, Silverman Sandwich

The Great Schlep from The Great Schlep on Vimeo.
Droga5 and Sarah Silverman have thrown their hats in the fierce political furnace that is the 2008 Presidential Election. Pro-Obama Jewish voters have organized to mobilize young Jews to go to Florida to convince their grandparents to vote for Obama. Seriously. It’s actually not a bad idea.

The campaign is called the “The Great Schlep” and stars the fabulous Sarah Silverman. Droga5 produced the video. One of the good things about Droga is that they manage to keep their fingers in all the right pots.

More: Advertising Swings Left In 2008


Advertising Swings Left In 2008


The election rolls on and as the mud continues to fly, we thought it was worth noting that as an industry, advertising donations have swung blue. You aren’t surprised are you?

According to Open Secrets, in 2008, advertising folk gave $3,249,948 to Dems and $1,908,833 to Republicans. In 2004, the cash gifts were much closer with Dems receiving 59% to the Republicans 40%.

While advertising trends blue overall, the last time it was a 50/50 split was in 1996, Bill Clinton Vs. Bob Dole.

More: Which Advertising Big Deals Gave To What Party

McCain Beats Obama


Adweek talks about the impact the political ads of both Sen. McCain and Sen. Obama had during the Olympics. According to research done by Nielsen IAG, it appears that McCain had ads that topped the goal of a breakthrough ad or one that shows “effectiveness in communicating the basic message and intent-to-vote increase.” Of course there was much talk about the “Celebrity” ad aimed at discrediting Obama’s popularity which had a communication effectiveness of 90%. Obama did however beat out McCain in the area of likability. Isn’t that always the way with celebrities?

Adweek also gets into a bunch of calculations about what areas were polled and how the number breakdown to determine a winner and still managed to confuse me about how McCain won this one. This give McCain an edge because it proves that people are willing to listen to what he saying about Obama and take that to heart. But it’s fortunate for Obama that the ads aired during the Olympics are such a small part of what voters will remember and weigh when choosing their candidate.

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Side Note: Advertising Employees And The Election

While we are all busy planning, producing, shooting and coding the next big campaign, there’s a little thing called the Presidential election happening outside the office doors. In an article about Obama’s recent trip to Richmond an advertising executive got some press lines:

Rye Clifton, an advertising executive at the Martin Agency, stands in Starbucks by the glass doors opening into the hotel. When Republican-nominee Sen. John McCain was in town in June, Clifton tormented Shockoe Espresso, a coffee competitor two blocks down the street, by retrieving the still-full mug McCain left behind. He sold the “mug of lies” on eBay for S213.61 and donated it to Obama. The incident so angered the manager of the coffee shop that he banned Clifton from returning.”

Go on Rye! I’m not sure which is more surprising: that he made it out of the office long enough to get in some guerrilla action or that someone paid two hundred smackers for the mug?

Clifton is also the guy behind the video, which took Unilever to task for pushing the pro-women message of the Dove brand with one hand, while the other is totally rubbing some T&A with Axe. Love it.