Here’s another Prop 8 ad from California. This one leverages the familiar concept of the Mac vs PC ads Apple ran for a couple years. On the right, you have a younger man who is “No on Prop 8” while on the left, a larger, older man is “Yes.”
The ad talks about “fairness and dignity” and “discrimination” (I’ll explain the quotes momentarily). The ad also uses the tactic of highlighting what _should_ be more important to Californians than stopping same-sex marriage (the economy, war, etc.)
Overall, the ad is watchable, but it lacks any real connection with the audience. The Mac vs PC ads were hip, catchy and there were a lot of them. This allowed people to connect to the campaign over time. In the Prop 8 ad, there’s no real personal investment in either character.
Not only that, but the ad used words like discrimination and fairness. You may recall that I recently posted an article that highlights the fact that those terms just don’t resonate with voters on this issue. Voters don’t see a lack of marriage equality rights as discrimination.
So in essence, the characters didn’t connect and the message fell flat. Meanwhile, Prop 8 supporters were running ads featuring lovable children and focusing on how Prop 8 would help protect them.
Overall, I don’t think NO on 8 is terrible ad. The concept is cute and the message _should_ resonate. However, we’ve learned time and time again that in order for the message to resonate on this topic, it has to be personal in nature. Here’s a great example of how this learning was applied by Get Up! Action for Australia. This ad uses no words, but instead, tells a personal story through a series of video clips. The 5 MILLION plus views this video has received in just months highlights the importance of character connection and a powerful message.
If you’d like to see how one person has already applied the learning here in Minnesota, check out my post For Better, For Worse, For All. While not an official ad, you’ll see the personal stories tactic applied.