This Girl's Voice

Monday, January 12, 2004  

Bush in 30 Seconds

I happened to tune into the live online simulcast from the Bush in 30 Seconds contest sponsored by MoveOn.org's Voter Fund about 45 minutes ago, just in time to watch the announcement of the Best Animated ad, Best Youth Ad and Funniest Ad;

They're just about to announce the winner of the Overall Best which was judged by a panel of political experts as well as celeb filmmakers, writers, actors, producers and recording artists including author-filmmaker Michael Moore, director Gus Van Sant, writer-filmmaker Michael Mann, actors Hector Elizondo, Jessica Lange and Tony Shalhoub, Pearl Jam musician-activist Eddie Vedder, REM musician/film producer Michael Stipe, recording artis Moby, hip-hop impresario Russell Simmons, funny guy Al Franken, even more funny guy Jack Black, funny girls Janeane Garofalo & Margaret Cho, and pol critic, writer and strategists (in that order) Katrina vanden Heuvel of The Nation, and Stan Greenberg, Donna Brazile and of course, the ragin' cajun and the man who got Bill Clinton elected and reminded everyone "It's the economy stupid", James Carville.

The purpose behind this contest is that MoveOn will be paying for nationwide airplay of the winning ad starting January 17 through January 21 during the week of and coinciding with Bush's State of the Union Address on January 20.

I'm particularly interest in what the People's Choice category winner turns out to be, because i participated in the viewing and voting process and have a personal favourite, which is CHILD's PAY.

It's incredibily effective on a number of levels; first off, it's message is powerfully conveyed via a series of 2-3 second silent vignettes, each one featuring a working child. The cumulative scenes immediately telegraph that your children will be paying for the Bush Administrations' policies and trillion-dollar debt.

With no voiceover or dialogue uttered by any of the children in the spot, and a music "score" featuring a simple acoustic guitar performance very much in a style which echos an era in America no one wants to ever go back to: the stark Dust Bowl of the 1930's when the Heartland of America was struggling to survive by the skin of their teeth and America's children laboured side by side with their families in a post-stock market crash America.

The ad opens with a shot of a young boy washing dirty dishes behind the cold stainless steel counters in the backroom of a restaurant, a tired little girl with her janitors' trolley next to her sweeping the empty hallways of some corporate office late at night, a young blonde girl with a plastic hair net and blue collar overalls taking a deep breath and letting out a sigh as she oversees what appears to be old empty bottles rolling by her on a conveyer belt in a factory, a little boy jumping down off the back of a garbage truck where he proceeds to bend down and collect the garbage off a downtown city street, a dreadlocked little girl in a cluttered garage or bodyshop working the machinery which retrofits rubber tires; in the last 10 seconds, a black screen appears with the following super: "Guess who's going to pay off President Bush's $1 trillion deficit?", whereby it closes with a long shot of a little girl working the long lines at a cash register, ringing up and bagging groceries at a supermarket.

Lastly, the other reason why i really liked CHILD's PLAY and why i think it will be effective with a broader audience that goes beyond core Democrats, is because no one can point to it as a "Bush-hating" ad; it's not an ad hominem attack on Bush the man (if i dare call him that), and instead addresses the policies of the Bush administration.

The idea for Bush in 30 Seconds was the creation of Moby, MoveOn.org’s Eli Pariser, consultant Lee Solomon, lawyer-investor Jonathan Soros (son of billionaire financier, philanthropist and democratic supporter, George Soros) singer-songwriter Laura Dawn, and PR executive David Fenton.

No matter which ad is selected as the winner, MoveOn.org has become a viable and important tool in helping to educate American citizens as to what the key issues are and how those issues effect them and the future of their children by helping to expose the policy failures of the Bush Administration.

Starting this Saturday January 17, the winning ad will air nationwide and although this ad has a limited run, The MoveOn.org Voter Fund states it will create and run powerful political ads in swing states to challenge President Bush's policies and his administration.

If you're going to watch Bush's SotU address next Tuesday night, make sure to look out for the moveon ad and tell your friends to watch for it as well. It should prove to be a powerful counterbalancing breathe of fresh air and exercise in truth to Smirky's fantasy speech.

It's just a damn shame that the Democratic Party doesn't have the guts to create an ad as effective and hard-hitting as any of the fifteen final entries sponsored by the independent organization known as MoveOn.

You can view all the finalists and the eventual winner here.

UPDATE: It turns out the winner for Overall Best and The People's Choice, was CHILD's PAY!

posted by voxpopgirl | 1/12/2004