Republican candidate Mitt Romney is having a contest where users can make their own campaign ad for him online. Although the contest ended September 17th, a winner has not yet been announced.
While this video contest is a commendable idea, none of the videos I watched impressed me. The videos contain all the elements we're used to seeing in professional campaign ads: vague and positive words like "strength" and "innovation," sound clips from the candidate accompanied by phrases in all-caps that jump out at the viewer, and random patriotic images like the Statue of Liberty or the American flag. While all of the videos I looked at had these elements, this video epitomizes what I'm talking about - and it's the one that got the most "loves" on the site.
I think that this contest could, in theory, be an opportunity to get creative and try a new angle with campaign ads. Since the internet is more personal and accessible than other media, I thought the ads should be too. Instead, though, it's amateurs imitating the typical professional campaign ads we normally see on TV.
The problem might not be in the contestants themselves - I'd say it's more in the rules laid out by the Romney for President people and the video clips they provided. Though they want to look hip and trendy by sponsoring this internet contest, they also don't want to stray from the conventional campaign ad.