Wednesday, August 22, 2007

SLC mayor's race ad watch

First there's Ralph Becker's who was up first on TV and whose I saw first on TV.

My wife really disliked the ending. She said, "that [Blueprint man cartoon] really ruined the whole thing." It has low production values, just a series of photos and voice over, but it again hones the message that all of Ralph's ad money (be it for mailings or TV) goes for: I AM A DEMOCRAT!!! (and big name Democrats support me) My wife noted the big names and was impressed. She might think the ending is hokey, but the endorsement's stuck with her.

Speaking of hokey, have you seen Dave Buhler's ads? Man he has a lot of them. I have seen two different ones, but there are tons more on YouTube, if you can bear it.

First off, what is the deal with the Dave Letterman T-shirt? Letterman was sort of cool in maybe 1994! And old men with pot bellies don't look good in Ts, shorts and Tevas. He looks a little silly even before you notice the puppet squirrel on his shoulder. Plus, these ads talk about all the things he did on the city council, failing to note his other experience, as a state senator in the REPUBLICAN leadership. Gee, I wonder why.

Here's the next one. And I am glad he is wearing a suit this time, but the shades, please. And in general, I guess they are going for an homage to the Apple ads, but it doesn't really work if there aren't two people bantering back and forth. The small print lines are clever and a bit corny but I am a corny guy.

But the thing that troubles me is the misappropriation of the line that launched arch-conservative Ben Stein's acting career.

It is a good way for people to remember Dave's name, but it might violate IP law. Stein is an attorney I think, so I hope pointing this out will apprise him of what's going on. I don't think he has made claims like the "let's get ready to rumble" guy but I haven't exactly followed Stein's career closely.

OK back on topic. Final grades: Becker B, Buhler C+. Buhler's ad have more content of what he did on the city council than Christensen and suffer from none of the sloganeering, but is very dorky. Becker's is pretty clear cut in its messaging, but the Blueprint man ending is a bit jarring.


Wellington said...

I don't read your blog enough to know whether you went to law school or not; so please inform me. Until you do, let's not misinterpret the law. Even the novice knows that an obvious parody does not infract intellectual property law (Hence SNL's ability to stay on the air). Is the line "Bueller?" copyrighted in anyway? I don't know. It's not even Ben Stein's voice in the ad. And besides, it's his name. Certainly he has the right to say his own name. I guess you were making an attempt at humor yourself.

jonathan said...

I enjoy your blog. I agree with what you say. However, there is no legal problem with the Ben Stein bit since his actual voice was never used. I would also ask you to look into Dave's record on the hill and compare it with his candidate counterparts records. Blueprint man may be "jarring" and Dave's ads definitely dorky, but so are the average voters. :)