An American Story

 
 

An American Story

Slate gives us an article dissecting presidential candidate Wesley Clark's new TV ad. In a related story, I really really want Clark to kick Bush's ass out of the White House.

How do I love this ad? Let me count the ways.

I love it because it's a story. It doesn't simply
characterize the candidate or organize his merits
in the form of an argument.
It starts with something immediately
compelling—the Vietnam battle for which Clark won his
Silver Star—and proceeds through the arc of his career.
Clark doesn't appear in civilian dress until more than
halfway through. It's the story of a soldier,
not a politician.

The ad doesn't rush the viewer. It doesn't try to cram a
maximum of words and images into 30 seconds, as many
ads do. It relies on still black-and-white photographs, giving
you eight seconds to absorb the first scene—an unheard-of
commitment in television time—and three to five seconds to
absorb each of the rest. I like the attitude this commercial
reflects: If you can't do the job right in 30 seconds, take
60.

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