Do These Posters Make You Want To Vote? Or Do They Fill You With Despair?

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Nayeli Rodriguez observes at the XX Factor:

Declare Yourself isn’t alone in its tendency to threaten and alienate its audience despite better intentions. The “Vote or Die” campaign that began in 2000 promotes its own violent message, particularly when organizer P. Diddy gets aggressive or weirdly personal about the issues. Aguilera is actually a double offender in the scary ad game, having already taped this eerie display (those eyes! that smile!) for Rock the Vote last May.

E.J. Graff writes in response:

Ewww, Nayeli, I agree with you entirely: Those ads are creepy. Worse than creepy, really: They’re advertising the sexiness of violence against women. Duct-tape her! Sew up her mouth! Dominate that chick! The voting tag line reads as an afterthought to the main message that rape is just soooo hot. Maybe there’s a secret plan to bring out the misogynists while suppressing the women’s vote?

Via Dawn at The New Agenda, who notes the same resort to violent imagery is used in this Free Your Vote film. Why is it that so many public interest organizations apparently feel that the only way to get attention from their intended audience is to conceptually link voting and violent pornography?

–Ann Bartow

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0 Responses to Do These Posters Make You Want To Vote? Or Do They Fill You With Despair?

  1. Eric says:

    My hunch is that the organization probably hired some hipster advertising agency for this campaign, and the hipster advertising folks probably pushed this imagery as “edgy” or “transgressive” or whatever the current jargon is for bogus commodified rebellion. Of course, the organization still bears responsibility for not telling the hipster advertising folks to take their edgy transgressive imagery and shove it.

    (I’ve been watching Mad Men and it is doing bad things to my brain!)