Political Advertisement 2000

2000 | 01:05:00 | United States | English | Color | Mono | 4:3 | Video

Collection: Single Titles

Tags: Activism, Found Footage, Media Analysis, Politics, PSA, TV production

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Antonio Muntadas and Marshall Reese have been documenting the selling of the American presidency since 1984, and have expanded and updated the series with every election. Political Advertisement 2000 features ads from the 1950s up to the 2000 campaign. As Muntadas and Reese trace the development of the TV spot, what emerges is the political strategy and manipulative marketing techniques of the American televisual campaign process. Political Advertisement 2000 includes many rare spots, some never before seen. Edited without commentary, there's an endless stream of candidates, from Eisenhower to Al Gore, who are sold like commercial products.

"Sometime in the early 1950s Madison Avenue's hucksters realized that they could sell political candidates like any other product, a throat lozenge or facial tissue. Guided by the cooing come-ons of the thirty-second TV spot, campaigns were soon reduced to photo ops, televised debates, and sound bites. Out was the whistle-stop tour and the scrappy convention, in was the instant poll and the attack ad. Artists Antonio Muntadas and Marshall Reese have created an anthology of presidential campaign spots spanning almost fifty years. Including spots from the present campaign, Political Advertisement 2000 is a compendium of the ideological, tactical, and stylistic transformations that have unerringly altered the electoral process. Eleven presidential elections are unfurled: from Eisenhower's minimalism equals sincerity, through Kennedy's up-tempo youthful image, to Reagan's cynical Morning in America pabulum, and beyond. The artists avoid commentary, allowing the prodigious stream of TV spots to reveal their own truths. You'll see revealed the utter sophistication of media campaigns, the ever-evolving techniques of marketing, and, occasionally, something about the candidates themselves."

—Steve Seid, Fifty Years of Campaign Spots (Berkeley: Pacific Film Archive, 2000)

An excerpt of this title also appears on Presidents and Elections.

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