Saturday, October 18, 2008

The new reality

My experiment with reality television is over.

I am proud that I have never watched a "reality" show for more than a few minutes... until the political debates.

It was fun: we got My BFF, followed by dancing Presidential candidates in Debate the Second. "Who's going to be the President?" got respectable ratings, but they have to refine the product.

I'm thinking sarcastic twits giving feedback throughout the performances. "That was pathetic. If you don't believe it why should I?" Ralph Nader and Bob Barr would have volunteered.

Forget the squiggles (worms to Aussies, I hear), let's have text-messaged votes.

It may seem that I don't take these beauty contests seriously. I don't. In, well, reality, why should I take anyone who hasn't made up their mind seriously? There's too much information if anything, and about distinct positions if you just filter out the polls and pundits.

Tupperware TV

Not only does Barack Obama seem to have better personal trainers, he's also figured a way to actually make the debates useful: Bring Your Own Ballot parties.

I've signed up for email notifications of his daily Talking Points (John McCain's website didn't give me that option) and one clever idea is Debate Parties. Combine that with early voting and you capture some of those 'real excited but gee I'm kind of busy on election day' voters. Don't sweat about it now, it will be overanalyzed for months after the election.

Gaming the system

There are those 18 ads in video game, of course, targeted at Ohio, Iowa, Indiana, Montana, Wisconsin, North Carolina, Nevada, New Mexico, Florida and Colorado. It's all over the internet, especially tech-savvy sites.

That's probably the point, as one columnist astutely pointed out (I'd give him a shout, but I can't find his column again in all of the noise). A billboard in a racing game goes flying by; you're really not going to see it unless you want to.

The buzz is probably more important, and it still gets at the 18-34 year-olds he's trying to reach with the emphasis on registration and early voting. A smart move/ a lot of them are missed by other advertising and they're supposedly likely to favor him. Still, there's some rage at invading what are, after all, escapist worlds. He's more likely to pull it off than anyone trying it in future election cycles.

Extra inning

I can't be the only one laughing about ACORN News' pushing back the start of the World Series for Obama's half-hour show: "Sorry, John, but this is business."


Lil' Hammerhead said...

Obama Bucks? That's terrible.

Notice how few ads from either of the candidates we see on local television here. I figure it's because most of our programming is coming from California and Hawaii.. both strongly democrat, where advertising dollars don't need to be wasted.

A friend of ours in Cleveland told me that TV there is nonstop ads by both candidates.

So they're utilizing videogames.. why not cereal boxes or soda? If I was a candidate I'd pay major bucks to be on the Wheaties box.

KAP said...

The bucks were sent out by the Republican Club in San Bernadino. The use of watermelon, ribs and fried chicken was innocent, one woman said. "Everyone eats those foods, it's not a racial thing." That sort of thing might appeal to the small part of their party they like to keep hidden, but to me it's more likely to get Obama some sympathy votes. And McCain probably wouldn't want to bring food stamps into the discussion.

I like to pop in on CMAG once in awhile to see their latest newsletter on spending. An interesting quote from a week ago:

Evan Tracey, president of the Arlington, Va.-based Campaign Media Analysis Group, a media research firm specialzing in politics, added: "If you needed more evidence that Obama has more money than there is TV time left to buy, here it is. They're looking at the dollars in the bank, the days on the calendar, and wondering, ‘What else can we do?' ''
Tracey said the network buy was a startlingly old-school tactic by a cutting-edge campaign.
"This is a different media environment, even from when Perot did it," Tracey said. ‘‘There are a lot more channels of communication open between candidates and voters now. He's really folding back into one of the older ones."
But, he added, why not?
"On Madison Avenue, they like to say, ‘Half of all advertising is wasted, you just can't figure out which half.' '' Tracey said. "In politics, it's more like 95 percent is wasted and they just don't care. If the 5 percent that's useful hits the 3 percent of undecided voters, it's well worth it."

Anastácio Soberbo said...

Hola, me encanta el blog.
Lo siento no escribir más, pero mi español es malo escrito.
Un abrazo de Portugal

Anastácio Soberbo said...

Hello, I like the blog.
Sorry not write more, but my English is bad writing.
A hug from Portugal