August 17, 2004

Republican "Switch" Ads, by Errol Morris

You've gotta see Errol Morris's commercials for MoveOn PAC, the unaccountable special interest division of MoveOn.org. Morris took the "Switch" concept he used for Apple, and shot ads of Republicans who discuss switching their vote to Kerry. Morris's straight-on interviewing style and deft editing manage to convey real peoples' nuanced, complex, and sincere perspectives. The word that sticks with me most: Betrayed.

Of course, MoveOn's populist, anti-war-energized donors voted to run the ad about WMD lies, which strikes me as the ad they most want to show Republicans rather than the ad that's most likely to sway Republicans to switch.

Each ad may elicit its own rebuttal--or, at least there are automatic administration retorts of varying degrees of accuracy/effectiveness; I see the William Harrop ad as vulnerable to criticism of "sour grapes," and the economic thesis of the Brady Van Matre ad doesn't make sense. But the cumulative effect of so many Republican voices of discontent is quite powerful.

As a registered Republican (Yow, where'd that come from??) my top picks are Rhonda Nix, Kenneth Berg, and Sid Hasan.

Related:
Philip Gourevitch reports from the set: context, insightful comments from Morris, spin from MoveOn's Wes Boyd, and a bit of "we're politicians above all" from the Kerry campaign.
"Confessions of A Republican," Johnson's powerful 1964 ad, which was entirely scripted. [from AMMI's The Living Room Candidate]
My interview with Errol Morris

Since 2001 here at greg.org, I've been blogging about the creative process—my own and those of people who interest me. That mostly involves filmmaking, art, writing, research, and the making thereof.

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first published: August 17, 2004.

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