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!
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