Undue conflict

Thinking outside of the box never hurt anyone.

A recent endorsement video for Barack Obama’s presidential campaign features Lena Dunham comparing her first time voting to her first time having sex — something that has caused much controversy, mostly among Republicans and Conservatives in the US.

Eric Erickson, editor in chief of redstate.com, a right-leaning news website, argues that Obama’s ad ridicules virgins, while other critics questioned Obama’s approval of this ad as the father of two young girls.

Their reaction isn’t shocking — after all, when opposing parties do something controversial, it’s expected that their rivals will criticize them.

That doesn’t mean the criticism is warranted.

It’s refreshing to see the Obama campaign trying something new instead of creating another formulaic attack ad. According to a non-partisan exit poll analysis, Obama brought the most youth between the ages of 18 and 29 to the ballot booth in a presidential election since 1972, with a voter turnout of approximately 50 per cent in that age bracket.

Dunham’s ad shows that the Obama campaign is continuing to look to this demographic to build its voter support base.

The ad does a great job of speaking to its target demographic — college-aged women.

The parallel drawn between picking the right partner to lose one’s virginity to and voting for the right candidate is successful. It makes voting seem like a deeply personal and important decision.

By adding this element into the ad, the Obama campaign found a way to hit a chord with young women effectively.

The surrounding uproar and controversy has been blown out of proportion, detracting from the ad’s success in speaking to its target audience.

The campaign should be applauded for its ability to create a provocative, original and, ultimately, effective advertisement, capitalizing on Dunham’s star power and ability to relate to young women throughout the US.

— Journal Editorial Board


Election, US

All final editorial decisions are made by the Editor(s)-in-Chief and/or the Managing Editor. Authors should not be contacted, targeted, or harassed under any circumstances. If you have any grievances with this article, please direct your comments to journal_editors@ams.queensu.ca.

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