Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Politics: The great creative inspiration

What is it about politics, especially American politics, that inspires such an outpouring of creativity?

When ever its election time in the US there seems to be a mad scrambling together of all sorts of creative types, who come up with great content aimed at the voting public. In this instance, ad agency Droga5 has worked with comedian Sarah Silverman to make this pro-Obama message.

There’s also been a ton of stuff directed at Republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin. As you can see, Saturday Night Live has a field day with several skits about Palin. But so has many other groups from writers, actors, comedians and just the public in general. Here’s one, and here’s another.

There’s also been some interesting ads to get Americans to register to vote. Here’s one with Jessica Alba in a Hannibal Lecter-style mask. Other notable efforts include this TVC, which was done during the Democratic nominations and designed to separate Obama from Hilary Clinton.

The other side of this coin is some of the terrible advertising that gets produced during elections. Like this ad (yes, it’s a real ad) for Republican nominee Mike Huckabee and this TVC for Mike Romney.

And there’s also the attack ads, which have become a big part of elections, especially American elections, and are the other side of this issue. Why does politics inspire the best, and often the worst, in the creative community? And is this lacking in Asia and in Asian politics?

Give us your thoughts.

1 comment:

TK said...

Hey John, I am glad you brought the topic up here's a slightly different spin. I have been talking to a few people over the past few weeks about how this US election is the first one that's been held in the glare of social networks and how it has helped shape it. If you look at sites like Digg, I doubt McCain even understands what social tagging and sharing is or how something engages a community of users enough that they want to do something about it. Whereas the Obama camp has shown such deft use of online communities and technology - if you have got an iPhone check out the Obama campaign app - it's inspired. I wonder if McCain cares that he appeared twice in the influential Digg communities top 10 yesterday for the same story, the Rolling Stone expose by Tim Dickinson which gives an utterly brutal assessment of McCain's military career and his use of nepotism and self interest to get ahead.
Every day there are at least two or three anti-McCain diggs and any anti-Obama ones are quickly "dugg" down. Can the election be won in these communities? Well this morning the BBC reported that in the last few days to sign up to vote in the US elections young voters have registered in hoards, so maybe it can influence it. If you can't reach young voters at conventional Main Street rallies why not talk to them where they are. Is it a good thing? Yes it is, if you can, through online communities shake particularly the young voters out of their lethargy long enough to effect change then it's a good thing. Here in Malaysia we are witnessing the impact blogging can have on the political process and it's very interesting - you can either sit back and hope it goes away (it won't) or you can get on board and embrace it like Obama. Will young voters banding together in the communities that define them, win the day over conservative old fashion electioneering next month? I, like the rest of the world can't wait to find out.