Frustrated With TV Ads? Run Your Own for $6.

by: kauffmanr

Thu Aug 07, 2008 at 04:16

(Direct netroots-to-public-eyeballs messaging.  No consultant middlemen.  This could be the future of activism--or at least reasonable chunk of it. - promoted by Paul Rosenberg)

Now Crosslisted at Huffington Post

Get FISA Right (GFR), the internet based activist group begun on to alter Sen. Obama's stance on government surveillance and telecom immunity, has moved on in a big way. After losing the legislative battle on FISA the group faced a challenging decision: disband and look for ways to effect government action on illegal surveillance individually or find new causes to organize members around. The active members knew they had captured lightning in a bottle with their melding of dedication to a cause and mastery of internet based activism. What they decided was to take the fight for rule of law and protecting your constitutional rights forward by empowering you to fund their new television ad.

kauffmanr :: Frustrated With TV Ads? Run Your Own for $6.
Thanks to the genius of SaysMeTV  (a Venice, California, based company that buys cable advertisement space in bulk and sells 30 second spots to individuals) Get FISA Right has prepared and released its most ambitious project yet: a citizen funded television advertisement.  GFR's talent rich group plus SaysMe's innovative airtime strategy is empowering supporters to fund it all over America. How much does 30 seconds of cable TV cost? Amazingly, not that much.

From $6 on CNBC in Cleveland to $2063 on ESPN in New York and everything in between, SaysMe has prices and networks for everyone. What is truly amazing about SaysMe is it brings the cookies of television advertisement down to the lower shelf. Anyone with a video camera, internet connection, and credit card can produce and distribute a message for the masses. The stranglehold that big media firms, large corporations, and wealthy citizens have over our airwaves is ending.

SaysMe is currently in eight markets including Dallas, Los Angeles, and Philadelphia and is expanding into 22 networks by August 15 including Seattle and Washington DC.  SaysMe is excited to be working with groups like NARAL Pro Choice, Human Rights Campaign, and Get FISA Right because of instead of having citizen advocacy groups shout to their members with mass mailings and occasional meet ups, SaysMe will allow concerned citizens of any political affiliation to get their voice out and invigorate public dialogue.

Lisa Eisenpresser, SaysMe's CEO, sees it as "The next step in the evolution of the 1st amendment and free speech." Eisenpresser says the inspiration for SaysMe came from a desire to make television not just about consumption but also about production and "encouraging a conversation between everyday people using television and the internet." How refreshing for the founders of a media corporation to want it to be about us. SaysMe envisions themselves as a youtube-like forum, where users can submit content. Individuals will be able to submit 30 second shorts for issue advocacy, local area band promotion, or even an ad for selling their used truck. With the technology available the ad will target cable TV in a specific zipcode and voila! Issue resolved. Concert Success. Truck sold.

Instead of having content generated in studios, financed with giant bankrolls, and distributed to the masses on a limited number of channels SaysMe is encouraging you to attack the media world asymmetrically. There is no cable network or market safe from the power of a concerned citizen with a message anymore. If you want to run your own Barack Obama ad on FoxNews or John McCain ad on MSNBC Eisenpresser thinks that's awesome and SaysMe is here to help

How awesome is it that we can buy 30 seconds of cable TV for the price of a large mocha? Pretty awesome. As Lisa Eisenpresser puts it, "Make your voice heard, Make your opinion count."

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Not Just FISA (0.00 / 0)
While FISA is important, I think the most promising implication for this would be a simple fact-checking ad campaign.  The media narrative and right wing spin largely tend to misrepresent or distort basic true facts about both the candidates and about the state of America--such as fuel efficiency savings, etc.  

I can imagine a very successful progressive ad campaign that merely tries to debunk the facts in a fun, informative way (since the media isn't doing that part of its job).  For instance, since Republicans keep harping on tire gauges, produce an ad that explains how long offshore oil drilling will take, how many leases oil companies have that they currently are not utilizing, and how much percentage-wise that would save vs. conservation and maintenance measures.  Throw in a catch-phrase about Republicans failing simple math and you've got an effective ad that isn't candidate-centered, but merely sets the record straight.  Saysme would be a great way for such a group to get airtime.  

Do it with flip charts (0.00 / 0)
Kind of like Ross Perot.

Have a kind of "TV Professer" explaining things as if to McCain, kind of in an old-fashioned style McCain might be used to, but use new media to make and run the ad.

John McCain--He's not who you think he is.

[ Parent ]
It also ups the ante on viral (0.00 / 0)
You have a viral youtube clip and you pay $40 for it to be aired once with a plug for people watch other episodes of your work on your site.  Maybe the media picks up on it and re-airs your clip for free and suddenly a youtube clip is in the echochamber.

Suddenly the virus has gone airborne, so to speak.  For netroot activism thats awesome.  Just make one amazing shot that causes the audience to need more and the internet and TV are communicating with one another... kind of like Colbert's green screen challenge.

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Just So (0.00 / 0)
The potential here is to further break through the existing structures that keep conservative Versailles narratives locked in place, create an interaction of alternative information sources.

There is a definite crumbling of the existing structures going on, as more and more people tune out the old media and go looking elsewhere for information.  But old media still reaches plenty of people who don't know what they're missing, or who do have some inkling, but don't know where to find it.

$6 on CNBC in Cleveland is a cheap way to reach folks who never read a blog in their lives.

"You know what they say -- those of us who fail history... doomed to repeat it in summer school." -- Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Season 6, Episode 3

[ Parent ]
Right. I'd pony up for the right set of ads. (0.00 / 0)
Something like the fact-checking ads I described above, for example.

John McCain--He's not who you think he is.

[ Parent ]
Yeah... If H. Ross Perot Could Do It With Flip Charts (0.00 / 0)
how hard could it be?

"You know what they say -- those of us who fail history... doomed to repeat it in summer school." -- Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Season 6, Episode 3

[ Parent ]
Bam (4.00 / 1)
The potential to re-run that campaign sans the insane billionare has been on the table for a few years now. I honestly think nobody's taken it because nobody has the flip chart (or is willing to do the work to use one).

That should change, and my guess is that when someone who's eloquent and well-prepared runs something like that -- say, 60 second teasers pushing links to a site w/10 minute chunks of real substantive engaging content -- it will work. People often respond remarkably well to not being treated like morons.

Me | My Work | Future Majority

[ Parent ]
Several Centuries of Jury Trials Say You're Onto Something (0.00 / 0)
People often respond remarkably well to not being treated like morons.

Ya think?

"You know what they say -- those of us who fail history... doomed to repeat it in summer school." -- Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Season 6, Episode 3

[ Parent ]
This seems to make more sense to me than... (0.00 / 0)
...most of the stock political commercials being bandied about today which focus more on style than substance.  In this election, progressives win by a mile on the issues, but largely, progressive elections such as Kerry's and Obama's, as well as a myriad of senate and house campaigns in recent years haven't truly attempted to run on them.  Perhaps it's the consultant culture that has infected the party, but democrats have really ceded the information space.  There is no particular need for style, mud-slinging or silly comparisons--just enable the voters to make an informed decision and they will more than likely choose the democratic candidate.

I personally imagine a campaign that would break down McCain's entire posted platform, doing research and providing statistics.  Such a campaign should also focus on McCain's supposed experience, making the obvious distinction that McCain's highest level of command (commanding a training squadron as a captain) is in no way preparation for presidential leadership.  

[ Parent ]
Style Has It's Place, Though (0.00 / 0)
It's just not style vs substance.  We've had soooo much of that for soooo long that we've come to think it always has to be an opposition.  But that's really not the case at all.

Earlier this year, in FDR's Democratic Propaganda, at The Nation, Stephen Duncombe wrote:

On March 12, 1933, a week after his inauguration and in the midst of a monumental economic crisis, President Franklin Roosevelt took to the radio to address the nation. "My friends," he began in a calm, resonant voice, "I want to talk for a few minutes with the people of the United States about banking." For thirteen minutes Roosevelt patiently explained how banks work, what had gone wrong and what the government planned to do. Thirty times during his presidency FDR engaged the American public, on topics ranging from drought to the judiciary to war, offering his analysis and laying out his plans.

This was propaganda. FDR's talks were scripted by policy advisers and stylized by the playwright Robert Sherwood. Through these homey "fireside chats" the aristocratic Roosevelt recast himself as a plain-talking everyman. Yet listening to these speeches today the listener is struck by how informative they are. Technical details of financial policy and global trade are explained in refreshingly nontechnical language, and while style certainly matters, substance is not sacrificed. Through his radio addresses FDR modeled a relationship between President and citizen. He asked his listeners to think about and apply their own experience to the topic he was discussing and, in one instance, even encouraged them to spread out a map on their dining room table as he charted out battle lines for World War II. In marked contrast to the techniques practiced at the time by totalitarian regimes overseas, this form of mass persuasion did not encourage adulation of a leader but discussion--even if only imaginary--with him....

But the best propaganda for the New Deal lay in the material projects themselves: the parks built, roads constructed and young people put to work by the Civilian Conservation Corps; the integrated system of power, agriculture and industry of the Tennessee Valley Authority; and the handsome, handcrafted Timberline Lodge, built atop Oregon's Mt. Hood by the WPA. These accomplishments were then publicized. In one imaginative effort, the Bonneville Power Administration even paid Woody Guthrie to visit the Columbia River Gorge and write songs in homage to the land, the river and the new federally funded dams.

What all these publicity efforts had in common was an assumption that form and content needn't be an either/or proposition, that aesthetic image and material reality might be complementary, and that publicity could be used to include, not distract, the American people. New Deal publicity spoke to the emotions but also fed the mind.

"You know what they say -- those of us who fail history... doomed to repeat it in summer school." -- Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Season 6, Episode 3

[ Parent ]
Exactly. (0.00 / 0)

And I think that interaction between youtube and the SaysMe model will happen soon.

 Heck, maybe Paris Hilton will pay to have her ad on cable....

John McCain thinks we haven't spent enough time in Iraq

[ Parent ]
Maybe When The Free Hits Start Drying Up (0.00 / 0)
It all depends on what her publicist thinks is a wise use of funds, I suppose.

But I'd think this is really a golden opportunity for her, just in terms of brand extension.  So on that basis, it would make a lot of sense.

After all, her demographic and Obama's have a great deal of overlap.  McCain's, not so much.

"You know what they say -- those of us who fail history... doomed to repeat it in summer school." -- Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Season 6, Episode 3

[ Parent ]
I tried to explain SaysMe's awesomeness to my friends (0.00 / 0)
And this is what they said would happen:  Instead of it becoming a forum for concerned citizens to engage in dialogue the market would quickly devolve.  

The youtubification of cable.  I don't think its much of a step down.  Think about it, is Bill O'Reilly any worse than rick roll, obama girl, lolcats and all your base are belong to us?

Paris' ad was great.  But was she promoting ideals and beliefs or protecting herself and her brand?

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[ Parent ]
Of Course That's A Possibility (0.00 / 0)
But I kind of think that there's a difference between what folks will pass on for free, and what they'll be willing to pay for passing on to others.  Not an absolute difference, by any means, but a substantial one, nonetheless.

And, even if there weren't it would almost certainly make cable more interesting to watch.

"You know what they say -- those of us who fail history... doomed to repeat it in summer school." -- Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Season 6, Episode 3

[ Parent ]
The ad will be on the air August 12 and 14. (4.00 / 1)
The Get FISA Right ad will be airing on August 12 in the following areas:
Dallas-Ft. Worth (History Channel); Charlotte (CNN, Fox News and SciFi); Cleveland (CNN Headline News); Raleigh-Durham (CNBC, CNN 4-6pm, and MSNBC); Cincinnatti (CNBC, Fox News, FX, History Channel, Scifi and USA).

John McCain thinks we haven't spent enough time in Iraq

OK... Proposal for the Next American Blogger Series.... (0.00 / 0)
Ad contest... People create and submit ads... someone judges and picks the best ones and then we vote.  Then collect Money to run the ad.  

That sounds awesome (0.00 / 0)
Blog to TV challenge.

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[ Parent ]

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