Mobile and Tablet Marketing, WordPress

Is this the End of Hillary Clinton?

Though I like to think of myself as a Libertarian, perhaps there’s a little Anarchist in me. I enjoy the democratization of the Internet as well as the low cost of technology. The two lend themselves to provide power to those who haven’t purchased it.

Case in point is this recent parody of Hillary Clinton in an Apple 1984 advertisement. The video was uploaded to YouTube and has been watched over 300,000 times. Personally, I got a chuckle out of it. I’m not a fan of Senator Clinton, though I absolutely understood and respected her husband’s talent as a great orator and politician.

The irony of this home made video is that it visually reproduces the chill that I feel every time I see Senator Clinton speak. I’m curious how much influence a video like this could have on a campaign. There’s nothing in the video that points to Hillary Clinton as a poor choice for President… it just feels that way.

Not just anyone took the time to do this, it was someone supporting Senator Obama. The video is well produced and, I’m guessing, didn’t cost anything but time to develop. Is this the end of Hillary Clinton’s run for President?

Here’s the original advertisement from Apple (shown during the Superbowl back in the day):

Is this bad politics? Bad citizenship? Is it irresponsible? In a world where public image is everything and politicians spend millions (soon to be billions) to push that image, isn’t it ironic that technology put in a single person’s hands may sway an entire election?

This is when it gets fun!

12 Comments

  1. 1

    I am deeply suspicious of this ad.

    The soundbites seem to be completely wrong for the ad. I realize there is a certain irony in the original, which juxtaposes “we shall prevail” with the throwing of the hammer. But in the original, the voice has an obviously evil quality to it. These soundbites are Hillary’s explicit attempt to come across as a regular person, having a “conversation” with each of us individually, whereas the original ad speaks of “one people, one will, one resolve, one cause,” and “a garden of pure ideology where each worker may bloom, secure from the pests of any contradictory thoughts.” Meanwhile, the Hillary soundbite says “I don’t want people who agree with me.” Also, the image of big brother is dark, and blends in with the dark wall in the original commercial, while the imagine of Clinton is bright white, an aberration in the monolithic room

    If I had to guess at the source of this video, I would bet it came from the Clinton campaign. Imagine seeing it without any knowledge of the original. Most people probably don’t remember the original all that well. Here is an alternative interpretation of the Clinton video: Clinton is trying to awaken people who have become used to politics as a competitive sport, or partisan war, rather than a discussion, an exchange of ideas, about how to make everyone better off. Hillary says that it’s “really good” that “so far, we haven’t stopped talking.” However, some evil forces don’t want you to keep talking. Right before the hammer is thrown, the text on the screen over Hillary reads, “this is our conversation.” The next time we see the screen, a smiling Hillary again says she “hopes to keep this conversation going,” just before the sledge hammer smashes into the screen. In the original ad, following the initial explosion as the sledgehammer crashes into the screen, we hear a light, cool breeze, suggesting freedom. This sound appears to have been slowed down in the Clinton video, lowering the pitch and suggesting the cold wind of emptiness and despair. By this point we are really wondering who would be so evil as to want to end “our conversation.” We then see a bright white screen which says, “On January 14th, the Democratic primary will begin. And you’ll see why 2008 won’t be like ‘1984.’” Note that 1984 has a significance in presidential politics quite apart from Orwell’s book. 1984 was the year Walter Mondale, running as an unabashed liberal, lost every state in the nation except Minnesota. The white screen, associated with Clinton, promises a different outcome in 2008, until it is covered over by a pitch black screen bearing Barack Obama’s web address. It must be he who wishes to end the conversation.

    • 2

      Ben,

      Thanks for the lengthy comment! Journalists are trying to track down the actual person who uploaded this to YouTube – I’m curious to see as well. I doubt it was the Clinton campaign, though. And I’m also doubtful it was the Obama campaign, he’s been fairly critical of attack ads and has avoided it thus far. My guess is that it was an Obama fan with plenty of time on their hands and some good software.

      Rather than concentrate on the politics, what is of interest to me as a marketer is what this does to the hundreds of millions of dollars that these folks will spend on their campaigns. Will it thwart the attacks? Strengthen them?

      One thing I instantly noticed was that John McCain ads come up on Google with the mention of Hillary Clinton. It appears the McCain camp already sees value in behavioral advertising!

      Regards,
      Doug

  2. 3
  3. 4

    I am prolly missing some aspect of this, but what is “Bad” in the video. Just seems like rhetoric of a politcal speech to me. Let me know.

  4. 7

    This Hillary 1984 video is getting way overhyped. There are important issues out there more important than
    clever little internet ad campaigns with no real message, especially one that isn?t even original.

    • 8

      Amy,

      Your point is absolutely valid. Unfortunately, many voters don’t vote on the actual issues, though. I think it’s one of the fallacies of a modern visual age and politics. Wrong or right, many voters are easily swayed.

      That’s why I think this is a fascinating event. It’s simply the beginning of much more to come. I have know idea of its impact on voters yet – but no doubt that there will be one.

      Regards,
      Doug

  5. 9

    I absolutely understood and respected her husband?s talent as a great orator

    Sometimes things are funny, even when not intended. I hope you are aware of the double meaning that any sentence gets that includes the words “Clinton” and “oral” 🙂

  6. 10

    Its a power advertisement, especially if you are familiar with the original (by Ridley Scott, I think). It won’t be the end of Hilary as there are a lot of other important issues at stake, but it is a good shot at here. The business about the guy who made it seems to detracts from it though.

    • 11

      I did hear that he was a subcontractor with a company that was doing some work for Obama but he’s since been fired. That’s unfortunate – I really don’t think there was anything negative about the ad at all, though there was definitely an overlying theme! I wish the guy well, it was indeed a good shot.

  7. 12

Leave a Reply