A Farewell: The Final Post of the Non-Official Political Ad

I bid farewell to this blog, to this class, but certainly not to surfing the Internet for unofficial political advertisements.  I have explored an entirely new realm of viral ads that I barely knew existed.  I have further learned a great amount about the definition and the history of the genre within this past month—something I certainly wouldn’t have studied on my own time…. And I am glad this class allowed for me to explore this new field of viral videos.

Throughout this month, I have just barely touched upon the surface of the unofficial political ad genre.  I directed my focus on just the American party politics sub-genre as opposed to all the unofficial political manifestos surfacing the Internet, such as this clever advertising campaign set forth to promote aids awareness: http://www.adverblog.com/2012/03/28/a-smart-facebook-scam-for-good/

As for the viral videos I have discussed throughout the past month, I would like to conclude on the genre of the unofficial political ad campaign.

For all you government majors out there, this genre is for you. 

If you appreciate parody and satire, this genre is for you.

Those who fully study and comprehend American party politics and where our country currently stands, this genre is for you.

Even those who have no freakin clue about politics, yes, this genre is still designed for you.

The social media junkies out there, yes you there (you are reading this blog), this genre is for you.

All of you who experience viral videos that constantly flood your inbox; sure, this genre is also for you.

Those who just want a good laugh, this genre is for you.

And, for you who like a serious controversial hot topic in the making, this genre is definitely for you.

I see great controversial, satirical, burlesque, humorous, yet educational productions in the near future for the unofficial political ad.  I am confident that this genre will thrive in the next ten years with technology and social media continuing to take off.  I’d hope to see more controversy, more parody from both sides of the political spectrum, and even more satire… I say out with the serious, and in with the hilarious, when it comes to the future of the Non-Official Political Advertising genre!

Who knows?  Perhaps other genres defined throughout this manifesto blog will morph together with this genre to send the unofficial political ad into an evolution frenzy representing several key viral video genres….

The Future of the Non-official Political Campaign:

First, I would like to further elaborate on my definition of the “Non-official Political Ad.”  Not only is the objective of the genre to corrupt (definition explained in previous post) its viewer, but also carries the objective to portray/use parody and satire to convey the absurdities/incongruences of the “official” political advertising scene—as opposed to the statement that all unofficial political campaigns are used to only manipulate viewers to vote/act in a particular manner.

And now to the future of the “Non-official Political Ads”….

As I just stated, there are unofficial ads that seek to manipulate their audience, and there are other unofficial ads, or rather digital shorts, that seek to portray the irrationalities from both parties of the political campaign.  Certainly, there will continue to be attacking unofficial ads, however I believe we will see a significant increase of the amount satirical viral videos poking fun at the political scene in general… for example, more like the Jib Jab shorts I posted in my last entry.

The evolution of the original Jib Jab short, has now taken on (almost) an entire genre of it’s own.  But for the sake of this class, I am categorizing the Jib Jab shorts under the “Non-official Political Ad” genre—simply because I honestly believe they are the future of this unofficial political genre.  If you observe the unofficial political spectrum throughout the past ten years, you will find that more and more unofficial campaigns have turned from attacking one political idea/candidate to scrutinizing multiple political ideas/candidates running against each other through parody or alternative realms of advertising.  An example of this concept:

In both viral shorts, all sides of the spectrum of American politics were mocked by the producer.  In the first, we can see that Romney is a robot and Obama and Biden are in panic mode, but Ron Paul jumps in to save the White House.  In the second, the ridicule of all three candidates is apparent simply by listening to the entire conversation.

Essentially, I believe the future of the unofficial political campaign will evolve from simply just attacking one side of the story to both sides—that both republicans and democrats alike will be dissected in similar fashion via parody and other humorous rhetorical mannerisms.

The history of the non-official political genre:

The history of the “Non-Official Political Ad” begins way before the Internet took over the social world.  Activism and unofficial political campaigns have existed for as long as there have been civilized citizens to “act” and campaign amongst.  I’m sure even in ancient civilizations there were individuals who “unofficially” lobbied for certain philosophers, theories, and/or spiritual beliefs.  In democratic societies all around the world, native citizens have expressed/created unofficial campaigning for issues ranging from traditional politics to radical change, so long as the society allows freedom of speech.  However, the first modern-age political campaign arguably was conspired during the First Party System—a period of time between 1792 and 1824 where America began its political party systems.

Less privileged or anti-establishment groups conventionally formulate mass campaigns as a way to proclaim a voice in a bustling society.  Most of these campaigns wind up resorting to lobbying—a radical movement seeking to influence public officials or politicians (New Oxford American Dictionary).  These radical movements are perhaps the first official, “non-official” political campaigns.

Now, to fully understand the history of the unofficial political ad, it is critical that we furthermore explore the history of the viral video.  The first viral video was of the famous “Dancing Baby” back in 1997 most remembered for its appearance in the hit television series Ally McBeal.  Since 1997, millions of individuals have filmed, edited, and produced several online videos that have made their way into your inbox and on your Facebook news feed.  In 2005, Youtube was founded, paving the way for independent video producers of all technical levels and abilities.

I bet you can remember the first viral political video!  Remember JibJab? If you guessed Jib Jab’s “Founding Fathers,” you’re certainly correct!  The two Spiridellis brothers produced the first political viral video, where the video is (debatably) known as the first unofficial political video ever made.  The video is a parody on the Founding Father’s of our nation:  http://www.jibjab.com/originals/founding_fathers

The brothers’ next unofficial political masterpiece was “Capitol III,” the rap battle between Al Gore and George W. Bush:  http://www.jibjab.com/originals/capitol_ill

And of course!  How could you forget about the 2004 election?  I believe this viral to be one of the greatest unofficial political campaigns in the history of unofficial political campaigns: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z8Q-sRdV7SY

Although these videos above are not exactly serious non-official political advertising, they are indeed brilliant viral parodies of serious political candidates whom advertised serious official political campaigns.

Through these hilariously entertaining digital shorts, the producers were able to convey the message that these political elections were, quite simply, a joke—especially the 2004 election between Kerry and Bush, and the foolish things each candidate attackingly said about the other: hence the title “this land is my land!”

* To clarify something I said in my previous post—when I used the word “corruption” I meant that these unofficial political advertisements objective (I believe) it to capture the viewer to ultimately manipulate/persuade them to believe and vote a certain way.  I do believe “official” political campaigns—seldom—try to produce the same effect, however, I believe “official” political advertising is more fair and less attacking than unofficial political ads.



More about the difference between official and unofficial to come!  Plus more examples throughout further posts- Keep reading!


Information received from:




Non-Official Political Advertising

Is Viral Video the Way to Go?

In this post-modern society, are viral videos the only source of media to get the people to pay attention to the world around them?

The definition of a Manifesto according to the New Oxford American Dictionary is “a public declaration of policy and aims, esp. one issued before an election by a political party or candidate.”  This definition interestingly coincides with the genre of “Non-Official Political Advertising.”

Throughout history, the political campaign seeks to draw in viewers, or rather citizens of a particular sphere, to influence their decision making about a particular event, person, and/or politician.  In a democracy, political campaigns are a rather common form of adverting through digital shorts.  Of course, just like in any other genre of film, there are multiple characteristics that define “Non-Official Political Ads.”  The genre ranges from political lighthearted, satirical— burlesque perhaps—parody to personal attacks confronting a particular subject or person.  Others go on to use sarcasm, irony, and additional forms of conventional and non conventional rhetoric.

You might be wondering right now, what distinguishes a non-official from an official political ad campaign?  The divider is simply where the funding comes from.  For example, official political ads are funded only by the candidate themselves, while non-official political ads are produced and funded by individuals looking to reach out to society about a certain candidate.  The official candidate may have no idea the non-official video exists if not in tune with the viral media world.

As stated earlier there are multiple characteristics that make up this genre, and with that idea, there are multiple levels of sophistication within non-official political ads.  There are those whom produce political ads for the consumer.  This is defined with middlebrow culture.  Examples include parody and satire in that they are clever, yet are made to entertain as opposed to being produced for consecration (in literary theory terms).  There are furthermore those whom produce these amateur political ads for the producer— defining the highbrow culture.  Examples comprise esoteric shorts that are difficult for the average intelligence to comprehend and are produced in hopes to impress others who are excessively knowledgeable about the subject.

In other words— to sum it all up— there are non-official political ads that are viral to entertain their viewer (middlebrow), and there are others that look to catch the eye of the viewer who is knowledgeable about what it really happening in the political world.

Here are some real world examples of non-official political campaign ads throughout the new millennium:

2005 General Election Viral Ad – Conservatives

This viral, non-official political ad goes to the extreme about politics.  It reaches out to an audience that is knowledgeable about what is happening to the American society.  It essentially claims that if you vote for liberal politics nobody will be willing to work anymore because they will be given money by the government, and it will be a free for all on the streets and in public areas.  Fundamentally going back to the saying, “give a man a fish or teach a man to fish.”

Child’s Pay

This is another video that seeks to accomplish the same goal as the advertisement above, yet on the opposite side of the political spectrum.

It Could Happen to You

This is an example of a campaign that uses parody to entertain their audience.  It appears this video is a lesson about some sort of viral disease perhaps, where in fact it is about the idea of “catching” hope.

Funny or Die Paris Hilton Martin Sheen Charlie Sheen

Of course this video makes the cut for this list.  The non-official short uses satire to poke fun at politics.

Or how about this explicit, burlesque viral ad produced by comedian Sarah Silverman…

Overall, the goal of all amateur non-official political campaigners is essentially identical: to corrupt unknowing voters and manipulate them through advertising and political parody to skew their vote for a particular subject or candidate.