Thirty-second political ads are not known for their edification, but emotional manipulation. And of course, visuals are a key weapon.
In 2008, Texas Congressional hopeful Dean Hrbacek decided you could never been too thin, so his campaign sent out a mailer with the lumpy candidate’s head Photoshopped to a much more svelte body.
The folks at MnForward, the new conservative business group formed to get Republican Tom Emmer elected governor, have not resorted to foreign objects, but as you can see below, they set the aspect ratio to “Slenderize” for their inaugural elect-Emmer TV ad.
The image on the left is the candidate’s official Minnesota House of Representative’s photo, the one on the right is a screengrab from the “Creating Jobs. Right Here. Right Now.” ad. Click for a closer view:
It’s a subtle and somewhat silly fib, but trust me, every pixel of these ads is fawned over, so it’s no accident. (By the way, MnForward is not legally allowed to coordinate with the Emmer campaign, so we can only assume they came up with the Slim Fast on their own.)
To be sure, the stunts are bi-partisan. Just a week ago, Republican Michele Bachmann made a point to defend the whiteness of her teeth after Democrat Tarryl Clark’s “BP” ad drained the Sixth District Congresswoman of all bright colors.
The all-timer in this department didn’t involve feuding politicians, but feuding media, when Fox News crudely manipulated the portraits of two critical New York Times reporters.