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.