If the Boutique Firms Got the Call...
New York asked four ad agencies known for break-
through work to design their own Bush and Kerry spots.
Agency 1     |     Agency 2     |     Agency 3     |     Agency 4         Next>>>
U.S. Survival: Bush-Kerry Election Game 2004
Agency: Mother
“We see this video game as a virtual character debate,” says Mother partner Andrew Deitchman. “We want people to see that Bush is a bully who acts rashly and Kerry is more thoughtful and evolved.” The novelty alone of this Sim City–like game, playable for free on the Web and advertised on TV, would help the Kerry team cut through the TV ad clutter. Free media would play a big role, too. A video game featuring candidates as apes? “That would get picked up by news outlets,” says Mother partner Paul Malmstrom.
OPEN: The title screen pictures Bush and Kerry as the leaders of a primitive tribe of apes. Players choose to play as one candidate. TAG LINE: “It’s all a game—until someone goes bananas.”

BUSH TRIBE: The goal in this and other scenarios (hunt, find water, build shelter) is to guide your tribe toward a better, more evolved life.

BUSH END FRAME: The catch is, every Bush scenario involves pissing off other tribe members, and ends in chaos and civilization’s destruction. KERRY TRIBE: In the Kerry scenarios, Kerry teaches his group to work together, and together they reach their goals.
KERRY END FRAME: With Kerry, you always win, and move to the next level.  
See also...
The Great Debate by Kaplan Thaler Group
Speechless by Mad Dogs & Englishmen
Flip-Flop by Dimassimo Brand Advertising
From the April 19, 2004 issue of New York Magazine.