prof. e.

Mass Communication, [multi]media, methodology and much, much more!

Archive for October, 2012

Political Ads Just Keep On Coming!

Posted by prof e on October 24, 2012

We’re approaching the end of another election season and the race couldn’t be tighter. Living in a “battleground state” I’ve seen my share of political ads, even while wielding my DVR remote control as a light saber to vanquish as many as I possibly can. With nearly a billion dollars spent on the presidential race alone, this has been a year for the record books. According to Wesleyan Media Project, this year’s presidential race has seen more than 915,000 ads air on broadcast and cable television.

TV is the medium of choice for politicians hoping to reach the masses. No other medium offers as much persuasion power as video, and a well-crafted TV spot can be a powerful tool for energizing the base and persuading the undecided voter.

Another notable characteristic of the 2012 campaign is the prevalence of negative or attack ads. Obama’s campaign was more negative (73.3%) than Romney’s (36%), while both Democratic and Republican ads by outside groups and super PACs were almost entirely negative.

Given the deluge of TV ads, what is your strategy for coping?


Posted in advertising, politics, tv | 37 Comments »

Ruffling Feathers at PBS

Posted by prof e on October 10, 2012

SNL invited Big Bird to the set of Weekend Update.

For a generation raised on Sesame Street, Big Bird is the poster child for all that is right and good about children’s television. A creation of puppeteer Kermit Love, Big Bird was originally designed to be played by Jim Henson. While that never quite worked out, according to Wikipedia Big Bird has been “officially performed by Caroll Spinney since 1969.” It is worth noting that Spinney is paid more than $300,000 annually for the role, according to the Sesame Workshops forms filed for 2010 tax year (the Atlantic).

So why are we talking about Big Bird? Because in the first 2012 Presidential Debate, which aired Oct 3, Mitt Romney said that in order to reduce the federal budget deficit he would makes cuts to certain domestic programs. Here’s the quote:

“I’m sorry, Jim [Lehrer, moderator of the debate]. I’m going to stop the subsidy to PBS. I’m going to stop other things. I like PBS. I love Big Bird. I actually like you too. But I’m not going to — I’m not going to keep on spending money on things to borrow money from China to pay for it.”

In response, the Obama campaign released this ad accusing Romney of going after Sesame Street while giving Wall Street a pass…

According to an article in the WSJ, Sesame Workshop would prefer to avoid being politicized by either candidate and has requested that the Obama campaign pull the ad.

“We have approved no campaign ads and, as is our general practice, have requested that both campaigns remove Sesame Street characters and trademarks from their campaign materials,” said Sesame Workshop, a nonprofit educational organization that produces and owns the show, in a statement.

What do you think about Big Bird, funding for PBS, and politicizing of both for the sake of political gain?

Posted in advertising, politics, tv | 3 Comments »

Movies are Made to be Seen

Posted by prof e on October 4, 2012

Have you ever tried to describe a movie to your friends…but they just didn’t get it? You may relate to this humorous spot from French TV.

Posted in film | 3 Comments »