You thought 30-second TV ads were short? The GOP is topping those online

I mentioned earlier this week that among the challenges Democrats face in the midterms is that the lineup of Senate races that happen to be on the 2018 ballot consists of 28 seats already held by Democrats compared to just nine currently held by Republicans, and that a whole lot of those Dem incumbents are in states that the Republican ticket carried in the 2016 presidential election. (I wrote that there were nine Dem incumbents in that predicament, but I should have said 10. I apologize for the error.)

Today’s mini-news includes the introduction of National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) mini-ads in exactly those 10 states, seeking to rally the base to vote out their Dem incumbent senators. And when I say “mini-ads,” I’m talking about one that runs on Facebook and lasts just 15 seconds, and that one speaks volumes (as the saying goes) compared to the one that runs on YouTube and clocks in at six seconds.

Six seconds. It takes three seconds just to say it takes six seconds, but, of course, the ads do not say that. In fact, they don’t “say” anything. That is, there are no spoken words.

Both ads make the same “argument,” and, as you can imagine, it isn’t complicated. It is: Republicans cut taxes. Tax cuts are good. Democrats opposed the tax cuts.

Substance freaks like me have railed for years against the 30-second TV ads that have become a dominant element of modern political communications, which are rather obviously engineered to bypass the thinking pats of the brain, and which have soaked up ever-larger portions of campaign spending. But 30-second ads and TV ads in general are soooo 20th century.

Are you ready. Don’t blink. Here’s the “long” 15-second Facebook version (which, by the way, contains no spoken words).

And here’s the incredibly efficient six-second Youtube version.

To tell you the truth, I can’t really tell the difference.

In George Orwell’s “Animal Farm,” they got it down to: “Four legs good. Two legs bad.” 

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Comments (3)

  1. Submitted by Tom Christensen on 04/09/2018 - 06:29 pm.

    Can you say and then remember?

    Republicans add $1.4 Trillion dollars to the deficit? No spoken words, just facts.

    • Submitted by Neal Rovick on 04/10/2018 - 08:30 am.

      $ 1.8 trillion is the updated amount reported by the CBO just a day or so ago.

      The text $ 1.8 trillion, divided by 300 million people = $ 6000 owed per person

      Plus the background shot of the Rose Garden celebration by the Republican congress-critters

  2. Submitted by RB Holbrook on 04/10/2018 - 09:48 am.

    Easier than Real Debate

    An ad that just spends a few seconds blaring a talking point is difficult to refute. The talking point may be factual, but just shouting it and signing off leaves no sense of any nuance or context. It’s just yell and leave. I would expect to see someone sticking out their tongue at the end. No thought is expected, just maybe a nod of agreement, or, as befits the more raucous tneor of the Republican Party these days, just an annoyed grunt or a “Yeah!”

    I would almost say that these ads are little more than internet trolling, but they lack even that depth. They are more like bumper stickers, or graffiti.

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