Using the copywriting skills for good and not evil (says the Democrat)

I can’t donate a million dollars to the Obama campaign. I can’t even donate $2000. I can’t spend the next two weeks hauling my family up to Ohio to knock on doors. What I can do? Write ads.

Here’s one I worked on with Peter Koechley of Moveon.org (former managing editor of The Onion), and director Doug Liman (Bourne Identity, Mr and Mrs Smith, Swingers). Fans of Gossip Girl might recognize some cameos…

And now you know why posting has been light lately. See you all November 5 when we can stand together joyously and shout YES, WE DID.

{87 Comments}

87 thoughts on “Using the copywriting skills for good and not evil (says the Democrat)”

  1. How content-free. “Just because people your age are doing it doesn’t make it cool.” Of course, just because people the age of the folks in this clip are voting for Obama doesn’t make it cool either. What will this accomplish apart from bolstering some voters’ already insufferable smugness (see above)?

  2. Miguelina and he’s cute in person too. Mucho cuteness. Jonathan: Spoken like a true forty-something. The youth of America salutes you.

  3. Liz, spoken like someone affecting the breeziness of a young twenty-something — why address the point when you can lob an argumentum de novo? I may be thirty-seven, but does that make it wrong to prefer substance over Splenda with my style?

  4. And, I am 47 and I thought this ad was cute. Maybe it will encourage kids to talk to their parents, maybe not. Johnathan, you need to lighten up.

  5. My parents are voting McCain, and nothing I can say or do will stop them. In fact, they’re kind of pissed that I’m not.Please still be my friend. 🙂

  6. Ha! Love it. My mom can’t vote (she’s not a citizen), but even she wouldn’t vote McCain. My dad would, but they don’t have absentee ballets in the next dimension.

  7. LOL. I love it, but then it does align with my political beliefs. I can see it being a little heavy handed if you’re on the other side–but if I can put up with the constant “Maverick” references and the attempt to make being a dumbass fashionable (“Joe Six Pack”), then they can suck it.

  8. Awesome. My dad’s afraid to come over to our house right now because my husband won’t stop talking to him about McCain. Personally, I think Dad’s just telling us he will vote McCain to annoy us (he’s a big brat), but time will tell.

  9. That is so awesome. I think you just got every male in this country to vote for Obama. I mean, if Serena is willing to pick them up…I, too, have felt like there isn’t enough I can do to help the campaign. When I was young and free, I just traveled the country working on the Clinton campaign. I need to get creative on how I can help over the next 3 weeks.

  10. Oh my gosh! I saw that video on Daily Kos and thought it was the cleverest thing I’d seen in a while – totally hilarious and spot on.Who knew I’ve been unknowingly lurking at a blogger who had a hand in it! Congrats! =)

  11. awesome. got the ad campaign from MoveOn.org, actually…and very interesting that you were working on it! Small world! Keep up the great work!

  12. from a minneapolis obama momma who’s embarrassed of those folks up in Lakeville — (and a fellow advertising chick) nice job. Dear god let us win this thing!

  13. Not bad. That’s high praise from a conservative. Of course, McCain’s so not my cup of tea. And then she realized that there never was a politician that made it very far who WAS her cup of tea….(remember your post about your cynical Nate?)

  14. Good for you. Homer and I (with the kids in tow) will be walking neighborhoods in our swing state this weekend. I couldn’t live with myself if Obama loses and I didn’t do anything to try and stop it. We’re optimistic (especially after tonight’s debate performance) that our efforts (and yours) will be well worth it.

  15. I saw this and LOVED it…I thought you were cool before but I think you’re SO MUCH cooler now.

  16. I am so so appreciative of the support. But I am equally appreciative of readers with different political beliefs who didn’t feel the need to weigh in. You guys are kewl.

  17. The best. Ever. I’m posting it right now. Such talent! Such Whimsey! Such a good memory of being a teenager! Great work – your sisters (and your country) thank you.

  18. man, now it feels EVEN COOLER calling you my friend in the real world! great stuff!

  19. The ONLY upside of my dad no longer being around is that I don’t have to have this intervention with him. When he was dying in 2004, I had to bring him his absentee ballot and shuddered as he checked off “Bush/Cheney”. Again. My sister and I learned a good lesson in politics very early. Between the two of us, we canceled out his vote.

  20. I just submitted my Absentee ballot Monday for McCain. I’m 26 and my parents are voting for him also. 😀 Too bad most voters don’t know the issues before they vote. Less government is better for all, but you can’t tell that to people today my age because all they care is about how good a person speaks and makes them feel. I’ll give Obama a thumbs up for being a very good speaker and making people feel good. 😀

  21. I’m sure you have your reasons for voting for McCain Jon, but I don’t think it’s fair or honest for you to assume that everyone who doesn’t is simply misinformed or ignorant. You also might consider that how good [sic] a person speaks is an essential factor in that person’s ability to convince, negotiate, forge alliances, inspire, and motivate.

  22. “I’m sure you have your reasons for voting for McCain Jon, but I don’t think it’s fair or honest for you to assume that everyone who doesn’t is simply misinformed or ignorant.”(Says the woman crowing about her ad which states that McCain supporters are risking the future simply because other people their age are doing it. Thanks for keeping irony alive, Liz.)

  23. I think this is fantastic! Simple, but sweet. I think we have gotten our fill of the nitty gritty, so this lightens the mood for sure. Keep up the good work.PS. Can I just say I am jealous of your cool job as well?

  24. I’m not assuming that “everyone” who doesn’t vote for McCain is ignorant, I’m just referring to the fact that MANY people my age and younger are simply voting on a certain person because he is a very likeable guy. And they have no clue on his stance on issues or voting record. I honestly even hated voting for McCain , but was the closest of the two to my views on how this country should be headed.😀Kudos to you Johnathan

  25. Great spin on the “just say no” kind of ads. I love it!I wonder if there is any way to play with that old OJ ad? “It’s not just for breakfast any more.” -Monica

  26. Great ad! I love the 80’s reference – so I don’t understand why people are saying that only 20 somethings will “get it”? I’m a 43year-old suburban mother in Ohio. To me, this ad is a brilliant tongue-in-cheek play on the “Nancy Reagan Just-Say-No” ads that I mocked while stoned in college! Those days are long gone, but my ideals of a country in which everyone has a chance of living a good life with adequate health care and the right to decide what to do with one’s own body are still very much alive. My husband and I figured out that with our combined income we will get less of a tax break with Obama than with McCain. But you know what? Who cares? We are looking at what what is best for the majority of Americans – not just what is good for us. We benefitted from a lot of opportunities in life. We took them and worked hard. It’s time to pay it forward. Go Obama!

  27. Thanks, Liz. You know, I hate to think that people are still falling for all the Republican rhetoric! Aside from the fact that Sarah Palin scares the CRAP out of me, the Republican ideology that she represents is just SO elitist, yet she panders to “Joe Six-Pack” and hockey moms. Even Joe the Plumber was proved to be better off financially under the Obama Plan (that is, unless he is one hell of a plumber and makes more money than any plumber I know – and I do know a few!) Interesting that he is no longer taking calls from the media since it was discovered that he owes money in back taxes! If people are tired of not knowing what to believe, they can check out the facts at http://www.factcheck.org. Unbiased.

  28. BRILLIANT. I get the MoveOn emails, I didn’t know Peter had been at The Onion. And Doug Liman? Awesome director. November 5th-listen for that screaming coming from Michigan, that will be me joining you in YES WE DID.

  29. Awesome add-I have been reading your blog but this is the first time I comment. I am married to a military guy and we are in McCain country over here – a few days ago I was driving on base and the cops (military) stopped me I was going 3 miles over the speed limit and proceeded to ask base legal if the Obama sticker on my car was legal??????? Is this crazy or what?Let’s hope he gets elected! Anita

  30. LOL Anita, I live in base housing and I was the first brave one to put up an Obama Biden lawn sign amidst a sea of McCain Palin. (Oh how I felt the burn in the back of my head whenever I went to get the mail.) But… slowly but surely a bunch more have popped up!!!! I promise you’ll hear my screams from Connecticut too. Liz, you are the shiz. Fan-freaking-tastic.

  31. That is really clever!!! I must show my kiddos tonight. They are 11 and 7 and are BEGGING me to vote McCain! Someone brainwashed them at school against Obama

  32. Good for you!I'm so excited about this election that I'm doing early voting tomorrow. In Boulder, 1 in 10 people have already voted. Mostly for Obama, I'm guessing. We're a liberal, thinking town. ;->

  33. Very clever, very cool and very much needed in Virginia, which has not supported a democrat since LBJ. DEFINITELY time for a change.

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