30 March 2012

Wacky Political Ad Watch: Karl Rove's 007 Obama

Fine: I'm making this a regular feature. There's really no way around it. As I previously wrote in the Washington Times, wacky online political ads are here to stay -- for a variety of reasons -- and they're getting wackier all the time. Exhibit 100-A? The above spot from Karl Rove's American Crossroads, which spins President Obama's recent hot-mic "flexibility" gaffe into a moderately amusing -- and surprisingly tongue-in-cheek -- James Bond spoof.

Herein, my quick grades:

Concept: B-plus. The James Bond parody is easy to grasp. Who isn't instantly familiar with 007? Better still, the spot reinforces -- in a goofy but subtle way -- the longtime conservative attack angle that Obama is some sort of sneaky double agent pursuing a hidden agenda ... one that goes beyond sneaking away from photographers for the occasional smoke.


Execution: A. Good production values. Totally won me over with the cheeky, knowingly cliched voiceover start: "In a world ... " Also, the use of shirtless, action-hero Vladimir Putin as himself was pretty inspired.


Message: D-minus. I mean, I get it -- Obama is going to sell us out to Mother Russia. Thing is, who in America besides Sarah Palin is sitting around worrying about Russia? "Red Dawn" and "Amerika" were a long time ago.


Lunacy Quotient: C. The spot seems more like gentle ribbing -- I picture the people who made using it as an excuse to spend the afternoon playing "Goldeneye," all in the name of research -- than a wild, go-for-the-juglar attack. Pity!

Oh, and one small programming note: I really do intend to make this a regular feature, so if you're reading and want to suggest other crazy ads for discussion/dissection -- or just make me laugh -- use the contact form on this blog to drop me a line.