Those of you who follow US politics – and who doesn’t right now? – probably know there’s a little election coming up in Ohio on March 4. Along with some local issues, the fate of the democratic presidential nominee might be resting in our hands. (How is it Ohio always ends up being so important?) As you can expect, Ohio is now getting a lot of attention.
A big part of this attention is advertising: mailings, TV ads, radio ads, yard signs, people holding up signs on street corners, and the occasional passing sign in a car window. Everyone wants to get out the message that their candidate is the best. And while I understand the excitement, I have to admit something: I’m sick of it.
Every weekday morning I drive Cordy to preschool. And each morning I like to listen to my favorite radio station, which happens to be a local pop rock station. (Sorry, Aaron’s the one who listens to NPR all day. I can only take so much news.) The morning has a mix of music and DJ talk, which I like because they rarely talk about the same thing two days in a row.
In the past two weeks, radio ads for the candidates began appearing during commercial breaks. But not just here and there – oh, no. I now fully understand the term “blanketing” when it comes to advertising, because I feel like I’m being smothered by one. The same Obama “I endorse this message” ad has been playing during every. single. damn. commercial break.
If you consider that in the course of my drive to and from preschool I hear about four commercial breaks – so four times a day minimum IF I don’t leave the house again – then you’d know I can practically quote the ad now. I hear a Clinton ad now and then, but not with the same frequency of the Obama ads.
I know candidates want to reach out to the voters and get their message across. But right now the only message I’m being sent is: I have an annoying ad that will be played every 15-20 minutes to hammer my name in your head. It’s overkill, and although I like Obama, it’s doing nothing to inspire me to vote for him.
In situations where I like two candidates equally, I’ve been known to vote against the one who annoys me with too many ads, or advertising that is too negative. Right now, I’m still on the fence about Clinton and Obama, but I admit this aggressive ad campaign is strongly affecting me. Maybe try for every other commercial break? Spice it up a little with some shorter ads that don’t bore me?
So while I encourage everyone out there to do your research on each candidate, pick the one you think will do the best job and go vote on March 4, I also can’t wait until the 5th when all of the campaign commercials will magically vanish into the ether. Then we’ll go back to being unimportant until the national campaign kicks off after the Republican and Democratic conventions. At that time I will be required to pull out my iPod and refuse to listen to the radio until mid-November.