The Best and Worst of Local Campaign Ads
The average age of a Jeopardy! viewer is 65. Only old people vote. It follows that the commercial breaks on Jeopardy! the last few weeks have been excruciating. Instead of easily-ignorable ads for medication, scary announcers tell us what will happen if we elect a certain duo of identical-looking Montgomery County commissioners.
The old people were able to turn the Jeopardy! ads out, apparently. Nobody really showed up to the polls yesterday in Pennsylvania. Even with all the ads for the Montgomery County commissioners race, turnout was low! For those who did turn out, Josh Shapiro and Leslie Richards won the race for Montgomery County comissioners. Bruce Castor apparently gets to stick around, too. (I think this is kind of like an “and-one” situation in basketball.)
Now that the election ads will be gone from our Jeopardy! viewing—and just in time for the Tournament of Champions semifinals!—I wanted to analyze what we all just lived through.
Hey, look! This one even mentions Phillymag! That statement is true, though I think the quote from Jim Matthews calling him a “dick” would have been a better attack idea. Josh Shapiro, incidentally, was profiled in 2007; in that article, he was called a “little fucker.”
My favorite part of this Shapiro/Richards ad is how the headline “Castor: ‘I’m not a consensus builder'” is in a headline. Come on. Not even the Inquirer is that boring. (“GOP Team Noncommittal on Keeping Taxes Steady” is, of course, an actual headline from the Intelligencer .)
While the Shapiro and Richards ads went with animation and ’50s nostalgia, Castor and Brown decided to film an annoying reporter (it takes one to know one) on what appears to be a cell phone camera from 2007. I’m not even positive what question Shapiro supposed to be answering.
Hey, that’s the same footage from the other ad! That’s cheating! This one is definitely my favorite. It looks pretty normal at first glance, but on repeated viewings it’s clear every political ad cliche is turned up to 11 on this one: The grainy footage of the opponents, the scare words highlighted on the screen, the switch to a cheerful tone when the candidates show up. Parodies of campaign ads wish they were this good.
Of course, elections took place all over. For example, in New Jersey Jeopardy! repeatedly showed a campaign ad that included two incredibly cheerful men in a Wawa purchasing Slim Jims.
In Philadelphia, there weren’t any great television ads, though anti-David Oh ads dominated KYW 1060 ad breaks. But there was one grassroots campaign in Philly I really enjoyed:
I have been passing through Occupy Philly pretty frequently and I hadn’t seen any information about Juan Rodriguez until Monday afternoon. Note to future renegade write-in candidates for mayor: Get your campaign information to the giant protest site sooner.