Political campaigns also provide much to reflect and think upon. They are also vastly entertaining particularly as the gloves come out and opposing parties start to play for keeps. Campaign ads are a powerful tool to cast yourself in a specific way, like trustworthy, honourable, and ready to get things done. However they can also be used to make your opponent look foolish, incompetent etc. A well written and developed add can be very affective no matter the content but some ads just go above and beyond.
My favourite political add from 2006 was the Western for Bill Richardson for Governor. This ad is a particular favourite not for who was running but for the creativity of the ad. What is more American than a western? The commercial is quintessentially American. Sheriffs are naturally portrayed as being honest, trustworthy, brave, ready to right wrongs, ready to fight. Just by portraying Bill Richardson as the sheriff all of these virtues are implied without having to even mention them.
It is a great parallel that some of Richardson’s accomplishments mesh with traditional sheriff duties such as jailing of violent criminals. Not only is the western traditional and symbolic but the humour that is displayed at the end just adds to the campaign. It shows that Richardson is not afraid to have fun and laugh at himself a bit. After all what sheriff would walk into a saloon and ask for milk. In the old days that would be the beginning of a fight right then and there. This commercial was particularly well done.
It told an interesting story particularly in pictures and it played to Richardson’s strengths. It is a traditional campaign move to attack your opponents and display them in a negative like but I appreciate how Richardson keeps the focus on himself. After all if you are trying to promote yourself the best way is to show your strengths. Someone will display the opposition’s weakness; it always happens so why not try to have some fun. This political add looked like a lot of fun and I am sure Richardson had a lot of fun making it.