Attack Ads

Attack Ads

Corey WilsonWednesday,8 July 2015

I hate attack ads. They make me immediately suspicious, and make me immediately annoyed. The fact that campaign ads even run seems silly, just as having a one-hour scientific debate seems silly; they serve no purpose because they rely upon the information that the debater has at his or her disposal in that moment. In the same way, there’s no way you can fit your solution to a complex societal problem into a thirty-second ad. Perhaps that’s why attack ads prosper; they have no substance so they can easily fit into that slim window.

At this point, I’m sure many of us don’t even watch them. I’ve been in a Harvey’s, a Wendy’s, a McDonald’s (it’s a miracle I’m not dead) and heard them playing in the background on TV. But this attack ad by the Conservative Party of Canada can’t be ignored:

I’d be as bold as to say that this ad is a microcosm of what’s wrong with the Conservative Party. Aside from being so far off base they’re holding tennis rackets, it speaks to how out of touch they are with the Canadian people.

Hopefully by now you’ve watched the ad, and hopefully you haven’t broken your nose from that facepalm. So what was the point of that? Other than being the holy grail of appeals to emotion, it seemed to serve no other purpose than to undermine Justin Trudeau (the Liberal Party leader) on the most superficial knock against him: that he’s too young to lead.

But that could’ve been said any other way. It could’ve been a black screen with white text that dramatically fades in and out and says, “Justin Trudeau wants to pull out of Iraq.” “Justin Trudeau doesn’t want to fight ISIS.” “Justin Trudeau will put your family at risk.” “Justin Trudeau: just not ready.”

It would’ve gotten the exact same message across and they wouldn’t have had to use any of those images. There’s no reason why they had to use the images of those poor peoples’ final moments to further their agenda; it’s gross, immoral even.

I’ve been willfully ignoring those headlines for months to save my sanity, and you shove them all into one espresso shot of horror. And the fact that you didn’t air it on TV, and chose to keep it on YouTube tells me that you fucking knew that this ad was way over the top.

Kory Teneycke (a Conservative campaign spokesman) defends it, but if you stand by that video why don’t you put it on TV? Why not show the whole country? If the message is that fucking important, why not show it? Why limit its message to one medium?

It’s because you fucking knew it was a farce. And knowing that you knew it was stupid, and yet still released it says a lot. It was clueless, and lacking foresight.

Well, now that I think about it, maybe this ad is their way of summarizing their campaign.

The Conservative Party of Canada: We Lack Foresight, and Have No Class. Vote Harper 2015.

It’s kind of catchy in a “can you believe someone outdid Ser Dondarrion Trump for the stupidest campaign blunder this year?” sort of way.

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Image Credit: Flickr

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