Thursday, March 22, 2007

Designer of the Hillary "Big Brother" Ad Fired

The recent mystery of who created the Hillary Clinton "Big Brother" style ad has been solved.

NetworkWorld reports "Phil De Vellis, a political operative at Blue State Digital (the company name tells you what party’s candidates it serves), has been outed as the ad’s designer, and, depending on which account you wish to believe, has resigned or been fired because his employer’s most prominent client is presidential candidate Obama."

All this brouhaha over an ad that, frankly, wasn't designed well! The ad has Hillary actually saying that she encourages discussion and other ideas; hardly the stuff Big Brother would say. Anyone who has read 1984 would heartily agree. And artistically, it was an easy knock-off from the original ill-fated Apple ad which was aired during Superbowl in 1984.

Even though the original Apple ad was lauded as one of the top 50 commercials in the last 50 years by Advertising Age (in 1995), the American public didn't agree. The ad was panned, many viewers "didn't get it", and it was never circulated again... Until recently, when De Vellis replaced Big Brother with Big Sister.

At the end of De Vellis' commercial, it had a promotional tag suggesting that the viewer vote for Barack Obama instead. Perhaps De Vellis had floated this commercial as a trial balloon: If it had been a success, he would have stepped forward. However, it was received by both campaigns with the same distaste as an owner who's had a dead rat plopped in front of her as a "present" from an adoring pet.

De Vellis has now parted ways with his employer. Some pundits argue that this was overkill. They suggest that De Vellis should merely have been suspended, unpaid, for a short amount of time. But because this prominent spoof creates so much excitement and publicity, Blue State Digital had to be cautious.

As a representative for Barack Obama, Blue State Digital could have been accused of attempting to attack Hillary covertly, which would be viewed as a cowardly thing to do. Additionally, if a political ad doesn't contain the disclaimer as to whom it's produced by, it is in violation of the law. This would have given Hillary an opening wide enough to drive a truck through.

The only option that Blue State Digital had was to distance itself, fast, from the designer. I doubt there will be any further actions against De Vellis (if he's lucky) but this is the only way to minimize the damage for Blue State Digital, which would have been inevitable.


The Lazy Iguana said...

This story only had legs because the "liberal" media wanted something else to talk about other than Bush's desperate battle to prevent his top minions from having to testify under oath to Congress.

I think this is why the Anna Nicole Smith story is still in the news. Nobody cares who the baby daddy is.

Cranky Yankee said...

My initial reaction was the same as yours. "Nothing new here." They could have had a field day cherry-picking comments she has made over the years that would have had a better "Bog Brother" effect. It seemed rushed and sloppy.

Quite frankly, I never thought the original ad was that great. Mainly because the original mac wasn't as revolutionary as apple would like people to believe.

Disclaimer - I am typing this comment on a mac.

OldHorsetailSnake said...

Well, I agree it was a pretty crappy ad, but seems to me we're letting our sense of humor go to waste.

Hans said...

Isn't it way to early for Presidential Election News. This is a non story. It was a hacked together rip off of an old commercial that only ran on YouTube and the News. The press gets all "chubbed up" over elections particularly Presidential ones. We are a hair short of TWO years away from deciding the next President and they are already cranked up on it. I make two predictions Hillary will not be elected and the public will have campaign fatigue before the primaries.

actonbell said...

I didn't see this ad, but I agree with hans that it's awfully early for all this.

Jenn said...

I agree with you that the ad was not designed well. If he wanted to make his point, he should have chosen different Hillary footage. Other than that, I don't really have any opinion about this. This is the first time I've seen it.

amy said...

De Vellis explored his creativity and expressed his freedom of speech at the same time.
I didn't see anything wrong with the Hillary 1984 video. In fact, it was kind of clever!. For me, he deserves more commendation than condemnation.