Eight Weeks Of Palin on TLC: “This Is Flippin’ Fun”

I don’t know if Mark Burnett, the King of Reality TV, is a Republican or not, but now that I’ve watched the first few episodes of his new show, Sarah Palin’s Alaska, I am reminded once again how much more skilled politicians on the right are when it comes to creating winning media images.

Billed as part travelogue, part documentary series, the show looks like an ad to me. One of the greatest ads in American political history, I might add.
Here’s how Time Magazine sees the show:

If Palin’s red-meat Fox News commentary is the sort of media you do to position yourself for a primary, then Sarah Palin’s Alaska, full of folksy moments and free-range metaphors, is a general-election play.

This show delivers Sarah Palin the Mom, Sarah Palin the Wife and Sarah Palin the Outdoor Adventurer into American living rooms. It could be Sandra Bullock as Sarah Palin, but it’s not. It’s the real Sarah Palin.
There’s nothing about her politics that I like, but this show is purely personal. By removing the political, viewers get the chance to relate (or not relate) to Sarah Palin the Person, and without a doubt Sarah Palin the Person is more likeable to a lot more people than Sarah Palin the Presidential Candidate.



About David Burn

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. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.