The NYT has been running a series of flash ads for the Kerry kampaign that vie with the Keystone Kops in overall lack of professionalism, effectiveness, and attention to detail.

In lieu of my $50 donation to a kampaign that I regard as literally the last, best hope for representative democracy in America, I have bravely volunteered to correct the ads as seen and provide more effectively laid-out and written material.

Confidential to the Kerry kampaign: fire the idiots responsible for the flash-based garbage I am placing into operational order here, unless you want to lose the country, forever. You are not konducting the campaign as though it matters. Ergo, why the fuck should I vote for your man?

Please note, each ad links to the original URL given when it ran. Images used without permission and without compensation in the spirit of fair use and satire. Kopyright infringement not intended and hopefully avoided altogether.




Khrist! I have no idea where to start. For one thing, it’s conventional wisdom not to feature your adversary or marketplace kompetitor in ads, as this is thought to reinforce kompetitor brand awareness, however nonsensical that idea may be. The ad seen here nods at this idea by failing to present the full name of the Resident.

The conventional wisdom on this matter is also partially BS, as is the case with much ad-world ideology. Of course it’s important to show and undermine your competitor, whether we’re talking about a politician or toilet paper. I admit, sometimes, it’s hard to tell them apart . Both are necessary discomforts which carry reams of crap to a dark place, and generally, the better packaged they are on the shelf, the easier we find it to visualize them helping to defend our national secrets. Despite decades of attempted change and educational marketing, we still apparently prefer the pulp-bleached, ultra-whitest products on the market. But keep that plunger handy!

Speaking of white, as in black-and-white, what is the deal with this image?

It’s a completely obtuse way of pointing out that GWB has fucked shit up because of his inability to see anything in terms other than black-and-white. Black-and-white, get it? Me neither, at first.

By God, that is the problem with the Kerry kampaign in a nutshell. Klear-kut choices are what kampaigns are about, you fools, and by ameliorating the possibility that the electorate will see such a choice, you will lose the election.

Let’s konsider the kopy, as well. “HELP MAKE GEORGE W. A ONE-TERMER.”

It’s so awful, I have to hear it again.


A what?


Oh, sure, I’m sure we’ve ALL used that term. When I was in school, at college, I counted down to my degree using the word “termer.”

“Oh, I’m a three-termer! Coming right up on it, yes I am!”

Oh, wait a minute, no I didn’t. Neither did anyone else!

It’s either a made up word which is intended to convey the complex idea of a one-term presidency (three words, please note) in two words (to save our widdle haids the trouble) or it’s a bit of insider jargon that effectively conveys the lack of kommunication between Kerry kampaign workers and the rest of the world. In either kase, it screams: klueless!




In executing these improved implementations, I sought simply to reinterpret the ads as seen, keeping the basic idea and layout while replacing the spectacularly misguided images and copy that were factually approved by the klowns of the Kerry kampaign.

In this instance I used a widely-seen image of GWB taken at a fundraiser in 2002, and manipulated brightness levels in Photoshop to enhance the menacing cast of the President’s expression. The manipulation is clearly more effective in creating a negative image and at the same time more subtle than the misguided black-and-white high-contrast image used in the real ad.

I also kept the “one term” idea and highlighted the very real danger of failing to unseat the man. This is it: we have one chance. I considered using another word that is colloquially used to mean “opportunity,” but it has an unfortunate independent meaning involving firearms, and therefore it is wildly inappropriate. God knows the other side has more guns anyway.




Blah-blah blah-blah-blah blah-blah blah-blah blah blah blah.

Raise your hand if you’re sure, and then kind of grimace. Thank god for the in-kind contributions from the aluminum sulfate people, because for some reason, our small donations have fallen off drastically!

I could go on and on about the stupidity of this ad (is that really Kerry? I can’t see his face! What does he look like again?), but then, I kount the words in the kopy, and perhaps we should simply move on.




Now that is more like it. I found this picture via Google image search at a website affiliated with the Clemson University College Democrats, uncredited annd apparently scanned from a printed source. The Kerry kampaign must hire the unknown photog and require said shutterbug to produce images like this at a rate of twenty a day from now on. The only thing missing in the image as originally found was a halo.

Luckily, I can fix that.

Regarding the copy, I found this much more difficult to work out. It must combine the name of the candidate with an appeal to strength and the duty to help in the fewest possible words. I think my rewrite moves it in the right direction, even if it’s a bit hackneyed. Suggestions and vicious public mockery – along the lines of this blog entry – are distinctly encouraged.


As I prepared this, both the GWB-BW ad and the painfully verbose underarm deodorant ad more or less stopped running, at least on my machine. Instead, the deodorant ad ran with somewhat simplified copy: “HELP ME TAKE BACK THE WHITE HOUSE” and incorporated the grey “$50” button, both good decisions, if it’s still painfully obvious that the image is a bad selection for umpteen reasons.

But God help us, this is still painfully bad advertising from a kampaign that apparently fails to recognize either the gravity of the situation or the importance of kommunicating the drastic konsequences of failure.

Hey John: Do you or do you not believe that GWB is, in fact, the enemy of constiutional democracy? If you don’t believe that, how will your administration seek to rectify the dangerous challenges to the constitutional order that have come about under Shrub? Be specific. If you accept his, er, adjustments to the rule of law, why the fuck should I vote for you?

4 thoughts on “Klueless Kerry Kampaign

  1. To me, the fact that all of Kerry’s ads talk about getting Bush out of the White House show that Kerry has come up with no reasons to vote FOR him. If your only reason for me to vote for you is that you’re not the other guy, there is no reason for me to vote for you. Why can’t he stop the Bush-bashing and show us some reason to vote for him? As he bashes the incumbent, he is simply appealing to those that already are likely going to vote for him. He needs to reach out to those that are undecided and not specifically anti-Bush. I am one of those people, and I guarantee you I am not alone.


  2. So the whole torture-slash-religious coup aspect is a failed argument for you, Matthew? Why is that?

    I do have to say I agree with you, though – the point of this post is that the Kerry campaign can’t even get the anti-Bush message right. I suspect that it’s symptomatic of a concern about alienating voters such as yourself, but the absurd wordiness of the ads I’m poking with sticks here reflects the absurd wordiness of the candidate himself, and the difficulty he has in presenting a sharply focused message.

    Which, like, kinda sucks.

  3. Kerry needs to stop spending money on ads and donate it to saving puppies or something. Nothing can hide the fact that he’s about as exciting as dried cement.

    I think he’ll take the White House, but in no way do to anything he’s done personally. He’s getting the job because he’s not the President who manned the watch that gave us Abu Graib.

Comments are now closed.