Bushfire
December 18, 2003 1:19 AM   Subscribe

Bush in 30 seconds. The voting for MoveOn.org's anti-Bush ad contest has begun. Even Republicans should enjoy this as some of the ads are hilariously bad. You need to register first (regular MoveOn spam included, use SpamGourmet if you don't want it) and can only view 20 ads per day or so. Since they are Creative Commons licensed, why not put them all into a giant archive and let people download them via BitTorrent? (There's over 1000 ads.) Anyway, enjoy the show.
posted by Eloquence (21 comments total)
 
Oh, and the password email I got has the URL wrong. You need to change

http:///login/change.html?id=foo

to

http://www.bushin30seconds.org/login/change.html?id=foo

Don't know if they fixed it by now.
posted by Eloquence at 1:21 AM on December 18, 2003


One thing I'd like to know is if they are handed out in random sequence. I got them like this:

1) Granny Gripe
2) Choices
3) Deception
...

(I think.)

The average ratings I saw mostly reflected my own opinions. So far I haven't seen a single one that really impressed me (although it's of course easier to bitch than to do better). One of them even had a nice "Saddam still at large" sequence. One made fun of the American flag ("star spangled monster") -- way to win over those who are not yet on your side.

Oh, if the movies won't play in your browser, view the source and look for the <embed> tag. That should give you an URL to copy and paste for wget, GetRight etc.
posted by Eloquence at 2:21 AM on December 18, 2003


I was impressed with the video 'Desktop' (David Haynes), showing an apple desktop with folders named "Social Security" and "Budget Surplus" being dragged to the recycle bin.
posted by Keyser Soze at 3:13 AM on December 18, 2003


Half a repeat, but a good follow up. I got "Bush Knew" which indicates that they are handed out in a relatively random order.
posted by ajpresto at 3:15 AM on December 18, 2003


One thing I'd like to know is if they are handed out in random sequence.

I'm one of the 1,000 entrants, so I've been reading into the way the voting works a lot.

Apparently, MoveOn has it set up so that each registered e-mail address gets a randomized algorithm which mixes the 1,000 entires. You can link to a specific ad for viewing (for example, here's mine,) but you can't link to any specific ad to vote on. (once you register, you get a random ad, not the one I linked to.)

The ads are shown one at a time, and once you vote on the ad the system does its best to make sure you don't see that ad ever again. They also claim that after a few days the algorithm will start showing the better-rated ads more frequently.

The system is great for fairness, since outside of hacking it prevents mass-voting or spamming for a specific ad, but it kind of irks me on the side that I can't even vote for my own ad unless I get lucky on the 1,000-1 odds it'll show in in my personalized queue.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 6:00 AM on December 18, 2003


That is a great idea. How long till Conservative websites get their members to start logging in and nominating the incredibly bad spots?
posted by Wallzatcha at 7:29 AM on December 18, 2003


Shameless (Semi-)Self Promotion -- my housemate wrote "Greatest Hits," the K-Tel Records spoof one. Vote early and often!
posted by serafinapekkala at 8:23 AM on December 18, 2003


1,000 entrants? With the 20-per-day limit, it's gonna take me forever to see all of these. And believe me, I want to see them all. Does MoveOn have any TV media friends? This seems ideal for a holiday downtime marathon.
posted by VulcanMike at 8:23 AM on December 18, 2003


The system is great for fairness, since outside of hacking it prevents mass-voting or spamming for a specific ad, but it kind of irks me on the side that I can't even vote for my own ad unless I get lucky on the 1,000-1 odds it'll show in in my personalized queue.

As another entrant (my studio made "Pop Quiz"), I agree both with the fairness and the frustration.

1,000 entrants? With the 20-per-day limit, it's gonna take me forever to see all of these. And believe me, I want to see them all. Does MoveOn have any TV media friends? This seems ideal for a holiday downtime marathon.

The problem is that there are only 12 days of voting left, so even if you have all the time (and bandwidth) in the world, you could only see 25% of the entries.

In the end I know no one (including the designers in our studio that made our entry) who is willing to deal with this voting process at all.

So I think the winners will be determined by a very small, really random sample of people. Oh well.
posted by notclosed at 9:31 AM on December 18, 2003


First of all, this is an advertising campaign. Instead of advertising in favour of something you're advertising against something but that's only splitting hairs. You have to look carefully at your target audience. In this case that audience is comprised of those people who would vote for Bush. This will yield a number of sizeable sub-groups that you can target with specific commercials. Making a commercial that will only appeal to the most knuckle-dragging of the anti-Bush crowd is pointless. You already know they won't vote for him. For that reason the commercials have to be tasteful, entertaining and emphasize a reason why that particular group of people shouldn't vote for him.

So take strict fiscal conservatives as an example. Illuminate the growing budget deficit as well as the size of the actual budget. If I had any actual skills I'd consider starting off with a dictionary definition of conservative: small government, low taxes, etc. The dictionary fades away and a graph fades in showing the size of the budget deficit and size of the budget itself. Add in something indicating that the tax cuts can't possibly continue if the budget deficit grows at this rate. Cite Ronald Reagan as an example of tax increases done by a conservative in order to stem a growing deficit.

As another example consider the more libertarian voters who might vote for him as the lesser of two evils. They believe in personal freedoms so show an example of somebody falling prey to the new laws that have been enforced under his administration. Tommy Chong might be a good example: A business owner harassed and jailed by the government and locked away due to new laws introduced by Bush's administration.
posted by substrate at 10:21 AM on December 18, 2003


I'm with substrate. After watching a half dozen ads, I'm thoroughly disappointed. While they might be amusing to people who already dislike Bush and his policies, I don't see them moving any undecideds.

I hope there are some better ones, and that the people voting are smarter than the people who made the ads I saw. And I hope that MoveOn gives better direction with any future contests.
posted by alms at 10:50 AM on December 18, 2003


There is a lot of fodder but press on... there are some real gems as well. One, set to imperialistic music, shows governor Bush playfully bouncing the globe around in an office which looks like somewhere I might imagine the devil would hang out.
posted by jasenlee at 10:56 AM on December 18, 2003


Again, as an entrant I'm biased, but I agree about the non-strategic, preaching-to-the-converted quality of most of the entries. When we were thinking about our entry ("Pop Quiz"--please give it a good rating and excuse the self-promotion), we made sure to test it from the point of view of a hard-core Republican.

Saying things like "where are the weapons of mass destruction?" will never work--Bush supporters believe they're still out there. Talking about "funneling money to anti-choice activists" won't either--for Bush voters, that's a good thing. So we concentrated mostly on Bush not putting his money where his mouth is.

Did you know he supported a pay cut for our troops in Iraq? That's outrageous, no matter how you feel about the war.
posted by notclosed at 11:41 AM on December 18, 2003


I know democracy is great and all, but they really should have pre-screened them, and then had voting. How many videos is the average voter even going to bother with? If they only watch 30, which is a tiny amount of the total but still takes 15 minutes, is their vote even useful?
posted by smackfu at 12:02 PM on December 18, 2003


Out of curiosity, are there any pro-Bush ads on there?
posted by gyc at 12:51 PM on December 18, 2003


I liked the "Wake Up America by Hugo Perez, Robby Baier" one!! wow!
posted by ruelle at 1:33 PM on December 18, 2003


There was one ad, I really loved...I think it was called "A hand up to what"...and it was a little kid, rooting through garbage cans for food while the voice over talked about the 4.3 million kids living behind the poverty line and how Bush keeps saying the poor don't need a handout but a hand up....and the final shot is someone lifting the kid so he can see in the big dumpster with the tagline " A hand up to what?"

Made me weepy. I think it's brilliantly targeted to a population that is starting to realize how many people are running out of money, food, shelter an the other necessities we like to think that everyone has.
posted by dejah420 at 1:50 PM on December 18, 2003


Thanks for voting!

Due to overwhelming demand, users can only view 20 ads per day. Please come back after midnight Pacific to view more ads.
posted by muckster at 2:45 PM on December 18, 2003


Out of curiosity, are there any pro-Bush ads on there?

It's an anti-Bush ad contest. So...no.

Feel free to create a pro-Bush ad contest and I'll make sure not to enter.
posted by notclosed at 3:05 PM on December 18, 2003


I never got it finished but for what it's worth, here's my idea: "America, The Promise..."

A series of 30 slides, one second each (possibly fewer if this goes by too fast.) The first fifteen begin with the title "America, The Promise..." then have various famous quotes from American history illustrated with corresponding sound bites and images/video. All the usual suspects - "Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness", "Ask not what your country can do for you", "I have a dream", etc.

The next 15 begin with the title "America, The Reality..." then have a variety infamous Bush & Co. quotes about the war, the economy and so on - again illustrated with corresponding sound bites and images/video. ("You're Either With Us Or Against Us", "Bring It On", "Mission Accomplished" etc.)

The entire piece has a soulful version of "America The Beautiful" playing softly underneath which segues slowly into "Taps" during the second half of the piece until coming up full volume during the second last slide which has no sound bite but is an unadorned image of American soldiers' caskets. "

The final slide, black on white, says "Recapture the American Dream - Vote Out Bush in 2004".

(Propaganda - gotta love it!)
posted by Jaybo at 5:38 PM on December 18, 2003


The winner has been announced.
posted by alms at 10:34 AM on January 13, 2004


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