The New Republican Vine Ad Attacking Colbert Busch Is Very 'Blade Runner'

The Atlantic

After the defeat of Mitt Romney, the Republican National Committee developed a lengthy plan aimed at modernizing and broadening its outreach. More outreach to youth, for example, by advertising in college newspapers. More online advertising. And although it wasn't explicitly articulated in that report, someone in the party seems to have also penciled in dystopic, sci-fi-style advertising on slightly-past-peak-hipness mediums.

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The National Review got the first look at the National Republican Congressional Committee's new ad targeting Elizabeth Colbert Busch in South Carolina. Are you ready for it? Here we go.

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Ha ha, oops. Wrong video. It's this one.

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Woah. That Elizabeth Colbert Busch must be the worst thing for South Carolina since the introduction of replicants.

The NRCC is excited about the new medium.

This is the first time a political organization has launched an actual ad on Vine to attack an opponent. Vine ads can easily be shared and are a new frontier of political media.

That's probably a little optimistic. Twitter introduced Vine in January and quickly inspired a flurry of activity that has since waned, in the style of the Internet. Advertising on the medium hasn't gone over well: Last month, the director of The Wolverine released a trailer for the film on Vine. It got about 1,100 retweets, which isn't very many for a massive summer blockbuster.

The NRCC's ad does a perfectly find job of getting the message across in a heated campaign between Colbert Busch and Mark Sanford, which will culminate in a special election May 7. This despite the distortions that come from pointing a phone at a computer monitor and playing audio out of its speakers. But the six-second spot would be well served by having a limit on the number of times it runs. Leave it on in a loop, and it quickly takes on a Blade Runner / I, Robot / Minority Report aesthetic. The cold blue tones; the feel of a video being recorded on film and the echoey soundtrack; the robotic repetitiveness; the imminent threat of a political opponent. It's easy to imagine this video being played on a ten-by-ten-foot screen at midnight in a rainy, skyscraper-enclosed square.

The GOP wanted to embrace the future. Success. It's just too bad it was a future in which America has slipped into an anarchic, every-man-for-himself battle against robots. Very Ayn Rand.

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