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The Obama ‘Big Bird’ Ad Vs. The Parody - Who Wins?; Plus, Other Presidential Campaign Ads You Have T
October 10, 2012
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In any election campaign, the political attack ad is generally front and centre. And in many ways, you can see why.

They're short and snappy. They play to our emotions - hope, fear, change. They tell a simple story - there's a good guy and a bad guy.

They have a straight forward message - Vote for me, you'll be okay. Vote for the other side, you're in trouble.

And they have that voice. That slightly scary, slightly campy, kind of like a trailer for a B-level horror movie... voice.

Of course, none of that means the ad is actually true. Chances are, it's not - at least not entirely - because the spin gets in the way.

With political attack ads, "mostly true" or "kind of true" or "a grain of truth" is generally good enough.

But that doesn't stop campaign teams from spending a tonne of money, hiring the best political ad firms to come up with a winner.

But consider this - do you really need a glitzy agency to put together a campaign ad. Or could anyone with a little creativity and editing talent do it?

Yesterday, we told you about the new ad from U.S. President Barack Obama's campaign - featuring Big Bird of Sesame Street fame.

Well, take a look at the Obama ad and then check out the parody below it.

It's from Blast Radius Comedy and it was posted on YouTube nearly a week before the Obama ad came out.

They're not all that different. has put together a list of the 20 greatest presidential campaign ads of all time.

Here are some of our favourites.

Love this one. From 1952, this was the first time U.S. presidential candidates ran campaign ads on TV. Here, Republican Dwight Eisenhower went for more of a campaign jingle than an ad. He won the election and served two terms as President.

In the late 1960s, President Nixon's team put together this ad to paint his opponent Democrat Hubert Humphrey as a nightmare for America - using images of war, violent protest, poverty.

And remember, it was the 60s so this ad is quite a trip.

This ad ran during Ronald Reagan's campaign for re-election. At the time, the Cold War was still very much alive with the Soviet Union known as 'The Russian Bear.'

Well, in this ad, Reagan's team shows nothing but an actual bear to play up Reagan's image as a guy who'll stand up to the communists. And yet, it also hints at peace with the closing line... "if there is a bear."

Here's one from 1960 - from John F. Kennedy's campaign team - that in many ways, was ahead of its time. JFK isn't actually in it - his wife Jacqueline is, talking up her hubby in Spanish and signing off with "Viva Kennedy!"

You have to see this one. Apparently, it only ran once in 1964 as part of Lyndon B. Johnson's campaign. It was designed to paint his Republican opponent Barry Goldwater as a political hawk, who just might start World War Three.

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