2011’s campaign ads: The more you see, the less you like them

There’s good news and bad news for the people who pay the bills by producing online campaign ads. The good? Sometimes lightning strikes and your ad could go viral. The bad? It’s most likely getting watched for all the wrong reasons.

That’s the conclusion the Daily Dot drew  from a list put together by Visible Measures, a video-analytics firm, of the top five viral campaign videos of 2011. Three of the five videos that made the list released Thursday were also on our list of the five most disliked videos of the 2012 campaign, so far.

Rick Perry’s “Strong,” Herman Cain’s “Now is the time for action,” and President Barack Obama’s “It begins with us,” all had the “honor” of being on both lists.

And the other two? One, Rick Perry’s “Proven Leadership,” starts out savaging President Barack Obama’s record on the economy. (It was produced by 23-year-old Lucas Baiano, who has made a name for himself producing action-movie-like campaign ads for Hilary Clinton and Tim Pawlenty.) The other is Ron Paul’s slickly produced attack ad on Newt Gingrich, titled “Serial Hypocrisy.”

The grand lesson of 2011’s campaign ads: If you don’t want to be disliked, you better give viewers someone else to dislike.

If campaigns believed in the old adage that no publicity is bad publicity, then the candidates would be in great shape. Of course, most realize that at the end of a long campaign, the people go to the ballot box and even if a video is watched by millions, it doesn’t mean votes.

In fact, studies have shown negative campaign ads have the effect of turning people off voting altogether. That’s the ultimate thumbs-down: staying home and watching campaign videos instead of getting to the ballot booth.

So we almost feel bad suggesting you watch them:

Justin Franz

Justin Franz

Justin Franz is a Montana-based reporter and photographer who wrote about web culture for the Daily Dot. His work has more recently appeared in Flathead Living Magazine, Trains Magazine, and Travel + Leisure.