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Monday, November 05, 2012

Jingle deprivation and other afflications at the center of the political universe

Here in the ultimate swing state, where Barack Obama and Mitt Romney are waging a pitched campaign for the Presidency of Ohio, the barrage of ads has even many adults weeping from exhaustion. And as we near the end of the race, a period in which dirty tricks are unlikely to attract enough media attention to be tactically unwise, the ambush political marketing has begun -- the paper inserted in an office printer that has a political flyer on its back side computer virus that causes the backside of every printed page of an outlook email to be a political ad; the unwanted "advisory" emails from the church webmaster; the post-it notes attached to gas pumps asserting some policy position; and of course, the classic sign stealing.

The Justices that signed on to Citizens United -- and any clerks that helped draft the opinions -- should be sentenced to spend eight weeks in front of a TV in Ohio during the next presidential election.

Perhaps the hardest thing about the end of this race is that I am suffering from an intense bout of jingle deprivation.

In ordinary times, TV and radio space in the Toledo market isn't that expensive.  So lots of businesses put up ads that have been executed with, let's say, less than a "Mad Men" level of flair.  It seems as if almost every business -- and, I'm embarrassed to admit, even every institution of higher education -- has a jingle. 

Although I'm a bit surprised to be feeling this way, I miss those catchy and unsophisticated melodies.  The remote car starter installation song.  The disaster clean-up song that reminds me what number to call if I have a flood or fire to clean up at home or a dead raccoon under the porch.

As a parent, I've found those tunes quite useful when adapted to sing to a toddler or infant about the benefits of eating food, going potty, etc.  And my quiver of melodies has gone empty thanks to the Presidential campaign.  At the very least, these candidates should do a better job of reducing their message to a three-note, two-measure jingle.

Posted by Geoffrey Rapp on November 5, 2012 at 09:07 AM | Permalink


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TiVo, baby. Other than during sporting events, I have not watched an ad on a primetime show.

Posted by: Howard Wasserman | Nov 5, 2012 10:06:47 AM

"the post-it notes attached to gas pumps asserting some policy position"

How is this a "dirty trick"?

Posted by: Andrew MacKie-Mason | Nov 5, 2012 11:15:18 AM

Putting a post-it on a pump in my community violates the Municipal Code handbill ordinance: "No person shall deposit or unlawfully distribute any handbill in or upon private premises, except by handing or transmitting any such handbill directly to the occupant of such private premises." It likely also qualifies as littering under ORC 3767.32, unless posted by the station owner.

Posted by: Geoff | Nov 5, 2012 12:07:16 PM

Imagine my relief in having moved to Florida! Oh, wait . . . no.

Posted by: Garrick | Nov 5, 2012 1:53:24 PM

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