When considering truly “attention-grabbing” poltical advertisements there are few in my mind that stack up to the shock and awe factor of the one released by Republican Alabama Agriculture Commissioner hopeful Dale Peterson. The video below, which has now amassed over 2,500,00 views, is a legitimate ad that was aired by Peterson during the 2010 elections in Alabama.
The blend of strategic imagery and provocative language makes this advertisement particularly engaging for not only its target audience in Alabama but Americans across the country as evidenced by the high number of views. The stereotype of Peterson riding his horse to patriotic music in the opening scene leads many question whether or not they are watching a clip from Saturday Night Live. It is fascinating how Peterson draws in the audience with his defniitive viewpoints and blunt mannerism. Establishing credibility as a “…a farmer, a businessman, a cop and a marine during Vietnam” strongly lends itself the credibility competition that takes place in larger scale elections and it is evident that Peterson is proud of his credentials. Once he gains the viewers attention, it is engaging how he transitions to fear of “thugs and criminals” to maintain the viewers interest and further build on his message. The final political ad ingredient Peterson incorporates is a blow to his opponents who support Norman Grace and go around “stealing yard signs in the dark of night…” A nice shot of him showing off his rifle and there you have it; a highly entertaining and representative example of political ads gone too far.
So let’s show Alabama we mean business!!!