Five days from now, the election will be over and we’ll all immediately suffer from campaign media withdrawal. What will accompany our morning coffee if not for today’s polling results?(Which dramatically differ from yesterday’s!) And what will Jon Stewart talk about if not for campaign follies on Bullsh*t Mountain?
Before Tuesday’s election forces us to quit our campaign media addictions cold turkey, I thought an over-dose might be in order. Let’s look back at all the times we laughed and cried at campaign ads (and got so fed up we threw the remote) this election season.
Traditional media proved pretty boring if not outright nasty in 2012. Both candidates took the age-old approach of bashing the other on TV, radio and highway billboards, using cheesy imagery and Doomsday voice-over to get their message across. In some cases, we discovered those messages were outright lies.
So what did we digital mavericks of the millennial age do? We took it to the web. And that’s when campaign advertising really got interesting. It’s no surprise that the most creative, entertaining, and often effective ads of this election happened online.
What’s more surprising is the dominant role women played in them. Some of the most notable PSAs this year were released by, produced by or starring famous women. I guess when political candidates resurrected gender issues of the past — like birth control, abortion, and a woman’s right to choose — all our little lady ears perked up. We decided to do something about it
Here are the top five PSAs produced by political women this election season.
1) Lesley Gore’s “You Don’t Own Me”
After weeks of listening to old men debate issues pertaining to body parts they don’t have, it was so refreshing to watch a group of strong, creative women lip-sync the ultimate theme song of female empowerment. This PSA came out on the eve of the third and final presidential debate. It was a strong reminder of exactly what’s at stake in this election.
2) Lena Dunham's “My First Time”
Lena Dunham tells first-time voters that their “first time shouldn’t be with just anyone.” It should be with a really great guy (like Barack Obama). Needless to say, this one caused quite a stir among conservative viewers and commentators. But we all know the college-aged target can handle a metaphor and likes their web content with an edge. So on both those fronts,this PSA was right on the mark.
3) PSA for MoveOn.org
Eva Longoria and Scarlett Johansson came out with a hard sell in their PSA for MoveOn.org.They talk directly to women about what a vote for Romney/Ryan means for our bodies and health.
4) An Indecent Proposal from Sarah Silverman
Sarah Silverman got in on the fun, too, from a very different angle. She released a racy sequel to her 2008 viral sensation The Great Schlep, which urged tri-state area Jews to go down to Florida and get their grandparents to vote Obama. The 2012 version, called An Indecent Proposal (NSFW!) was way more outrageous and less publicized.
5) Obama Girl/ Ryan Girl
Let us not forget the female constituents who took publicity into their own hands this election season. Obama Girl, who became a viral star in 2008 with “Crush On Obama” spawned the emergence of Paul Ryan Girl in 2012, with her breakout video “Let’s Get Fiscal.”
For better or for worse, it’s interesting to see how female sexuality has played a role in the 2012 presidential campaigns. A step forward for women, or two steps back? What do you think? Leave it in the comments.