Friday, 25 January 2013


What makes the perfect Attack Ad…

US TV channels are awash with a campaign of ill-conceived but extremely expensive attack ads, paid for by the National Rifle Association. The NRA hopes to make a lethal assault in its latest battle with common logic, as it wrangles with that most hideous of foe: the idea that civilians shouldn’t possess military weapons.  When confronting seemingly irrefutable logic, the most potent weapon in the hands of the moron in 2013 is the well-produced attack ad. When facts don’t help, just shout louder! ZEITguide takes a look at what makes the perfect logic-busting attack ad…

Sexy Graphics:
Possibly the most persuasive tool in the fight with reason is undoubtedly the use of mind-bogglingly-irrelevant but irresistibly-sexy graphics.  The NRA have outdone themselves with their recent effort, confirming the assertion that the use of sinister silhouettes should be actively encouraged.

Judicious use of the ‘boom’ sound effect:
The fact that a resonant ‘boom’ sound effect is a pre-requisite to all good attack ads is beyond discussion; it is nearly impossible to make impactful statements of a wildly illogical nature without them. The issue is the level of usage: too little and your ad risks resembling a tawdry attempt at slam poetry; too much and you ad’s soundtrack strays dangerously close to the realms of house music. Extremely ill-advised.

Pointless but effective comparisons:
Don’t dwell on the fact that there may be distinguishable differences between the President of the USA and a man working in Starbucks, or the entire population of Ecuador and a cat – if it’s going to make a statement, make that comparison!

End with a militaristic slogan:
The NRA have used ‘Stand up and fight!’ in their latest effort, which given the armed nature of their target demographic, is as relevant as it is exhortative. Notable successes from other organisations in the past are: ‘Put up or shut-up!’, ‘We shall overcome!’, ‘No surrender!’ and ‘Go fuck yourself!’

Attack ads can be the face of an organisation if required.

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