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.
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Agency: Mad Dogs & Englishmen
“The more we started going positive for Kerry, we realized the real traction has been how you felt about Bush,” says Mad Dogs executive creative director Deacon Webster. Without mentioning the president by name, the ad raises questions about Bush’s brainpower and his Texas-cowboy, damn-the-U.N. foreign policy. “There’s been a move toward, ‘Oh, Bush is folksy,’ ” explains co-creator Jaime Robinson. “But at a certain point, you have to realize that the presidency is an important job.” The message: “It’s nice to have someone who has gravitas.”
OPEN: The U.N. secretary-general addresses the General Assembly.

Secretary: “Ladies and gentlemen, the president of the United States.” [A standing ovation.]

CUT TO: The president’s point of view as he approaches the podium. Words scroll up the TelePrompTer.

TELEPROMPTER: [Pause for applause.]

President: “Distinguished delegates, ladies and gentleman . . . ”

The TelePrompTer flickers and goes blank.
CUT TO:Close-ups of world leaders and ambassadors waiting expectantly for the speech to start.

They lean in as the silence stretches awkwardly.
SUPER: Who would you want standing here?

The screen fades to black.
V/O: Paid for by the Campaign to elect John Kerry.
See also...
The Great Debate by Kaplan Thaler Group
U.S. Survival: Bush-Kerry Election Game 2004 by Mother
Flip-Flop by Dimassimo Brand Advertising
From the April 19, 2004 issue of New York Magazine.