Vote for Frozen Peas!

In an effort to boost sagging voter turnout, the Ad Council is backing the political campaign of Old Relish Packet. And Wacky Ceramic Rooster. And Side of Hashbrowns.

Wait… what? What does this mean?

Well, the Ad Council wants you to go out and vote. They want you to leave the house and pull the lever and have a say in the future of our nation. To show how non-voters harm the voting process, they have created a series of television and radio spots that mimic the typical election advertisement, right down to the exaggerated head nod and eagle profile. The only difference? There’s no candidate. It’s just a random item.

The purpose? Non-voters don’t pay attention to the myriad of political ads that flash across the screen. They don’t know the candidates. Apathy sets in, which leads to a lower voter turnout. Their message is this: If you are not voting, then whom are you electing? In other words, apathy towards the election process is as good as voting for an unwanted candidate.

Personally, I think the spots are clever – funny, both for content and for the parody of it all. But I think the message is lost. It’s bogged down in cuteness. Does a viewer look at these ads and think, “boy, I need to go out and vote?” Or do they feel like they’re being talked down to, leaving them just as apathetic, except this time, they’ve got a chip on their shoulder – they don’t want to be told what to do, especially in such a condescending manner.

Or, is this a subtle knock on the generic style of political advertisements – the ones we see over and over again for months at a time, and the ones we eventually tune out, blurring them together until the election is over and we can go back to admiring the usual automobile and cereal spots. Is this a call to action for the advertising world to change? Or is it a call to action for voters? Or, could it be a little of both?

Do these ads work? What do you think?

Check out the campaign here: Then, post a response.

This was lovingly handwritten on July 13th, 2006