Even the 'Fun' Campaign Spots Are Negative This Year

By Garance Franke-Ruta

Move over Obama Girl: 2008's worshipful indie videos have given way disappointed and satirical takes.

We've come a long way since "Yes We Can" and "Crush on Obama." After the most negative presidential primary contest in memory we're getting a highly negative general election campaign, and that's spilled over to the "pro-am" community, the professional amateurs and outside groups who since the rise of the online media campaign have sought to boost their favored candidates -- or critique those they don't love -- through independent creative efforts.

Above from Ryan Newbrough and Justin Monticello of Just New Productions in Los Angles is an excruciating ballad of disappointment in President Obama (excruciating because of the look on the singer's face, not the content) done in the video style of Gotye's 2011 break-up song "Somebody That I Used To Know." You really have to watch the Gotye video to properly appreciate this riff on it; Just New replicates the vulnerable opening shot and the body painting in Gotye's video, but using Shepard Fairey's Hope icon of Obama instead of an abstract pattern.

"We could have been so much more than just friends with healthcare benefits," the parodists tag their song.

Also premiering this week in negative independent videos is The Agenda Project Action Fund's parody of Danish-Norwegian group Aqua's 1997 "Barbie Girl" song and video. It's pretty well done, or at least has pretty decent musical production values. I think we'd all forgotten about that particular moment in dance pop.

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2012/08/even-the-fun-campaign-spots-are-negative-this-year/260803/