September 28, 2007

The greatest stories ever sold

Stephen Colbert had a guest on his show last night representing The Museum of the Moving Image in New York which has compiled an extensive collection of campaign ads dating from their first appearance in the 50's to the present, even including ads designed for broadcast on line.

The web site for that collection, Living Room Candidate, is a treasure trove of television ads from campaigns past which are alternatingly hilarious, disturbing, dumb, and just plain weird. Everything from the infamous LBJ "Daisy" ad, to an unbelievable singing ad for Adelai Stevenson called "I Love the Guv" and dozens in between.

If you get the time, take a while to browse around The Living Room Candidate and see how the political PR consultants have become sought to manipulate the public over the years. (Hint: They love emotion, especially fear.)

The links to the left on the page allows the viewer to browse by year, campaign, type of commercial, or issue, and the "desktop candidate" link takes you to a collection of online advertising.

While they've become increasingly sophisticated, in certain resepects they're still as crude as ever. This site gives a good overview of how this form of advertising has evolved. (if it has.)

So go take a look around, then come back and tell us which ones stuck out in your mind and why.

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