Barack Is Red, White and Blue

The ad above–Obama’s first of the general election–starts to air today in 18 states, including usual battlegrounds such as Florida, Michigan, Missouri, New Hampshire, Ohio, and Pennsylvania, and some traditionally Republican states where Obama hopes to make inroads, including Georgia, Montana, North Carolina, and Virginia.
“America is a country of strong families and strong values. My life’s been blessed by both,” he says in the ad. “I was raised by a single mom and my grandparents. We didn’t have much money, but they taught me values straight from the Kansas heartland where they grew up. Accountability and self-reliance. Love of country. Working hard without making excuses. Treating your neighbor as you’d like to be treated.”

About David Burn

Co-founder and editor of AdPulp. I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. I worked for seven agencies in five states before launching my own practice in 2009. Today, I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.


  1. Hi David,
    Interesting… your post triggered ads for John McCain including the negative “Barack will meet with Anti-American foreign leaders” banner. Looks like the McCain folks are starting to figure out how to use this internet thing.
    BTW, do yo think ad/marketing pros have any obligation to be non-partisan?

  2. Hi Mike,
    That’s an interesting question.
    On a personal level, I feel zero need to be non-partisan.
    Can you elaborate on why a non-partisan position would be important to an ad person?

  3. Hi David,
    Ad professionals have a special skill in their ability to influence and motivate the masses. Should ad people attempt to be non-partisan like journalists (who at least in the past attempted to be non-partisan)?
    It seems to me most creatives support Barack… and are quite vocal about it. And this makes me a touch nervous. Because it lacks balance. Problem is that like most branding efforts the noise can get in the way of the signal. Issues need to drive this campaign not branding.

  4. i wish McCain et al would drop the pretense that meeting and talking with our enemies is automatically a bad thing and equatable with appeasing Hitler. sabre rattling from the comfort of the USA isn’t exactly doing the trick is it?
    reagan met with gorbachev. nixon with the chinese. the brits talked the IRA out of killing etc.
    maybe the Iranians are just lonely and in need of a bit of a chat

  5. creatives support obama. account people and clients support mccain.

  6. @HJ – More proof that most acct. people and clients just don’t get it.

  7. Some great Obama resources from a partisan creative >>

  8. David,
    So if you don’t support Obama “you don’t get it”?
    On the other hand you’ll support Obama because he’ll talk to our enemies?
    Yet you can’t have a rational conversation with a McCain supporter without immediately throwing down the “don’t get it card”.

  9. mike,
    i’m pretty sure DB was being facetious.
    and i doubt anyone supports Obama solely because he, as you put it, “will talk to our enemies”. that would be silly. things are more complicated than that.

  10. I don’t support Obama. I support a complete overhaul of the federal system. And no Dem is going to deliver that.
    Jefferson called for a revolution every 20 years. So, let’s see, we’re about 200 years past due.

  11. from Nader’s blog:

    the Democrats convention in Denver is inviting corporate donors to become “sponsors” of the convention, promising executives a “once in a lifetime” opportunity to rub shoulders with Democratic senators, members of Congress, and governors. According to The New York Times of June 7, donors who give $1 million or more are given access to all hospitality suites and private events, providing what one public interest group called, “special access to federal elected officials [and] national party leaders.”

  12. Good point about vocal support that lacks balance making you nervous, Mike.. I’d say that’s one of the main reasons the current administration lost the trust of the American people while doing considerable damage to the perceived credibility of the entire Republican party over the last eight years. But I can see how anyone cynical enough to imply that respect for diplomacy is merely “branding” would be confused when others simply suggest that it may in fact have its place.

  13. Hi Wade,
    I never said or implied that “respect for diplomacy is merely branding”. I happen to disagree with the “progressive” approach to defending our country. My notion of diplomacy differs from their notion of diplomacy. And probably from yours.