The official George W. Bush site has an incredibly well done and extremely effective ad that eviscerates Kerry’s statement that he never ran negative ads. This video was put together within hours of Kerry’s statement, and is quite possibly one of the best political ads I’ve ever seen.
The ad starts out with Kerry’s statement, then begins playing Kerry’s negative ads until there’s a cacophany in the background – an effective auditory technique for generating disgust – then the ad goes silent before displaying Kerry’s statement again. Whoever conceived of this ad did a brilliant job of using psycholinguistics to maximum effect – it really gets the message across in an effective way.
It’s interesting how the Bush campaign has gone from having a very minimal Internet presence to one of the most well-oiled Internet campaign machines I’ve seen. The RNC and the Bush campaign not only pushes out talking points nearly every day, but uses blogs and web video to maximum effect. (I’d assume the Kerry campaign does something similar as well.)
It’s going to be very interesting to see how the immediacy of this campaign effects the way the campaign unfolds. The problem with these kinds of Internet-based campaign strategies is that they generally play to the base – see how Howard Dean’s virtual organization didn’t do him a bit of good. It’s still an open question whether bloggers and heavy Internet users are a significant part of American politics. The people that count in the end are the people who show up to vote on Election Day, and it remains to be seen if the Internet is truly an effective way of getting out the vote.