Infomercial Smartly Put Feelings Before Facts

By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 30, 2008 6:27 AM CDT

(Newser) – Barack Obama made few concrete proposals in his multi-million-dollar TV spot last night, but the infomercial wasn't about policy, writes Tom Shales; it was about "sensibility." For the Washington Post columnist, Obama's long-form advertisement succeeded as a soft-focus, optimistic simulation "of how it would feel to live in an America with Barack Obama in the White House."

John McCain made no appearance, writes Shales, but he didn't have to: by now he "has come to epitomize and personify" bad news. But Obama, backed by "music in a kind of elegiac, Aaron Copland mode," conveyed both a sorrow at the state of contemporary America and a moral stature that can restore it. It may have just been advertising, but by the end Obama conveyed what Reagan once did: that "things are going to be all right." Adds James Poniewozik in Time, "Nixon taught politics how to sell a President; the Obama campaign has learned how to brand a President, a la Nike or Apple."