Television and Radio Advertising
Interest Group Campaign Ads - 2008 General Election
Note: The objective of this section is to show a wide sampling of interest group ads -- that actually aired -- related to the presidential campaign.  The fact that an ad appears on broadcast or cable TV or radio means that the group invested some money to run the ad, rather than just putting up a web video.  This universe has its limitations.  Edgy viral videos can achieve wide circulation and have a huge impact.  Meanwhile, some buys are tiny and designed to generate free media coverage.  Sometimes a group will announce a TV ad but not even run it.  Although groups such as CMAG can provide precise information on media buys, those services are not within the Democracy in Action budget.  Accordingly, dates and media markets are drawn from information provided by the groups and from media accounts.  Dates show when the ad started running; they should be considered approximate, accurate to within a day or two.  Similar caveats apply to markets, if a group even announces the markets it is buying in, it may add to those.

Divided We Fail ...>
ONE Campaign ...>

pro-Obama/anti McCain-Palin
-"Not this Time" (Oct. 30, 2008 - DC, NY, Los Angeles).


-"Not Now" (July 8, 2008 -
MI, MN, OH, PA, VA and WI).

-"Veterans" (Oct. 18, 2008 - NM).
-"Security" (Oct. 18, 2008 - WI).

-"Like Me" and "Working Hard" (
radio, Oct. 20, 2008 - FL, OH, PA, NH, NM, VA, WV and WI).

Alliance for Retired Americans
-"Privatizer" (Oct. 22, 2008 - CO, NH, OH, PA).
-"McCain Disgrace" (three-day buy in July and in Aug. 2008 -
select markets in PA).

Brave New PAC and Democracy for America

-"Medical Records" (Sept. 25, 2008).
-Phillip Butler ad (mid-Sept. 2008).

Bring Ohio Back
-"Wrecking Ball" (beg. of Nov. 2008 - OH).
-What's Wrong with John McCain ad (OH).
-"Dave & Joe" ads (Oct. 13, 2008 - OH).

Campaign Money Watch
-"Gambling" (Oct. 27, 2008 - nat'l cable, Tallahassee, FL, Roanoke/Lynchburg, VA).
-"The McCain File" (June 9, 2008 - broadcast and cable in DC).

Catholics United
-Actions Speak Louder than Words (Sept. 19, 2008 - cable OH, PA, MI).

Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund
-"Brutal" (Sept. 12, 2008 - FL, MI, OH; later expanded).

Friends of Earth Action
-"Trillions More" (April 16, 2008 - nat'l cable).

Health Care for America Now

-"Fighter" (Oct. 8, 2008 - nat'l cable, OH). Political Action
-"Moose" (Oct. 21, 2008 - coinciding with Palin visits).
-"Talk to Your Parents" (Oct. 14, 2008 -
on CW and on MTV and Comedy Central in NC and NV).
-"My Friends" (Sept. 16, 2008 - nat'l cable, some key states).
-"Gimmick" (July 31, 2008 - $150,000 "in markets to be determined").
-"It Could Happen to You" (July 28, 2008 - MTV and Comedy Central).
-"Timeline" (July 16, 2008 - nat'l cable).
-"Not Alex" (June 17, 2008 - nat'l cable and
OH, MI and WI).  ...jointly with AFSCME PEOPLE
-"Betcha Can't Tell Them Apart" (June 11, 2008 -
nationally on Bravo and in DC on MSNBC, Comedy Central and CNN).
-"Bush-McCain Challenge" (May 27, 2008 - nat'l cable and Phoenix, AZ).
-"Obamacan" (May 12, 2008 - nat'l cable and OH, WI and CO).*
-"Candles" (April 30, 2008 - nat'l cable and IA and NM).

Matthew 25 Network
-Tony Hall ad (radio, Sept. 22, 2008 - OH).
-TV ad (Aug. 16, 2008 - run during Saddleback forum).
-first ad (radio, July 2008 - Colorado Springs, CO).

National Nurses Organizing Committee/California Nurses Association
"One Heartbeat Away" (Sept. 30, 2008 - CO, MI, MN, MO, OH and WI).

Planned Parenthood Action Fund
-"Worse for Women" (Oct. 24, 2008 - No. VA and DC).
-"Another Politician" (Sept. 12, 2008 - Pittsburgh, PA and Denver, CO).
-Out of Touch on Birth Control (July 16, 2008 - nat'l cable and battleground states).

-"Protect" and "Hair Salon-Part 2" (radio, Oct. 16, 2008 - NC).
-"What Matters" (English and Spanish, Aug. 21, 2008 - NM).

Progressive Future
-"American Tune" (Nov. 1, 2008 - national cable).
-"Better Off" (Oct. 29, 2008 - FL, OH).

-"Meghan" (end of Oct. 2008 - OH).
-"Worried Sick" (Oct. 6, 2008 - "in two battleground states").
-"Family" (Sept. 14, 2008 - IA, MI, NM, OH, PA, WI).
-Radio ad (radio, beginning of Sept. 2008 - Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN).
-"Feeling the Pain" (late April 2008 - OH).

Sierra Club Political Committee
-"American Jobs" (radio, Oct. 8, 2008 - Cleveland, Akron, Canton, and Youngstown).

-"Full Nelson" (July 31, 2008 - DC, OH, CO and NH). PAC ...>
-Darrell Hanschen", "Sandy," "Barclay Hastings"
examples of the Local Voices ads (Oct. 2008 - MO, NV, OH).

UAW Voluntary Community Action Program (V-CAP)

-Nicole ad (Oct. 7, 2008 - IN, MI, OH, PA).
-Joel ad (Oct. 7, 2008 - IN, MI, OH, PA).

United Mine Workers of America (UMWA)
"Coal's Future" - (radio, Fall 2008 - Western PA, Southwest VA, WV, and eastern OH). (UFCW)
-"Part of the Problem" (Sept. 18, 2008 - MI, MO, NV, NH, OH, PA, VA).

Winning Message Action Fund
-Mug Shot ad (Oct. 25, 2008 - OH).
-How Much Time ad (early Oct. 2008)
American Issues Project
-"Know Enough?" (Aug. 21, 2008 - MI, PA, OH, VA).
-Gianna responds ad (Oct. 27, 2008 - Cleveland, OH).
-Gianna ad (Sept. 15, 2008 - OH, NM).

Citizens Against Government Waste PAC
-title? (Oct. 9, 2008 - FL, OH, PA, VA).

Citizens United

-"Hype" movie promo (July 21, 2008 - cable).

Committee for Truth in Politics
-"Tragic, but True" (Oct. 9, 2008 - Pittsburgh, PA).
-"Basic Rights" (Oct. 2, 2008 - NC, PA, WI).

Family Research Council Action PAC
-"Draw the Line: Barack Obama and PBA" (Oct. 31, 2008 - VA broadcast).
-FOCA ad (Oct. 14, 2008 - DC).

Freedom's Defense Fund
-series of ads (starting Sept. 5, 2008 - Macomb County, MI).

Judicial Confirmation Network
-"America" (Oct. 23, 2008 - markets in OH, Pittsburgh, PA and no. WV).
-"Choose" (ea. Oct. 2008 - nat'l cable, markets in MI, OH, PA).

Let Freedom Ring
-"Gaffney/Obama/Biden" (latter part of Oct. 2008 - nat'l cable, battleground states).
-"Puzzle" and
"Part of the Problem" (2nd week Oct. 2008 - nat'l cable, battleground states).
-"Robby George on Judicial Choices" (Oct. 2008).
-"Union Elections-Card Check" (Oct. 13, 2008 - nat'l cable, battleground states).
-"Both Ways Barack" (July 22, 2008 - MSNBC, CNN, Fox News, VH1 and MTV).

National Republican Trust PAC
-"Obama and Wright: He Never Complained Once" (Oct. 27, 2008).
-"Social Security for Illegal Aliens" (Oct. 26, 2008 - FL, NV, OH, PA).
-"License" (Oct. 16, 2008 - FL, OH, PA).

NRA Political Victory Fund
-"An Outlaw's Worst Nightmare" (end of Oct. 2008).
-"Imagine" (latter part of Oct. 2008 - OH).
-"Truth Squad"
-"Texas Law Enforcement Officer" (ea. Oct. 2008)
-"Texas Law Enforcement Officer" (Spanish)
-"Way of Life"
(Sept. 22, 2008).
-"Veteran" (Sept. 22, 2008).
-"Hunter" (Sept. 22, 2008).
-"Pennsylvania Values"
(Sept. 22, 2008).
-"Reasons" (radio).

Our Country Deserves Better

Pennsylvania Republican Party
-"Judgment" (Nov. 1, 2008 - PA).
-"The Real Barack Obama" (ea. Oct. 2008 - Erie and Pittsburgh, PA).

Republican Jewish Coalition
-"Concerned About Obama?" (Oct. 20, 2008 - FL, NV, OH, PA).
-"Crisis" (Nov. 1, 2008).
-"Bailout" (Oct. 15, 2008 - cable).

-"Fought Reform" (Oct. 3, 2008 - cable).
-"Fighting" (Oct. 3, 2008 - cable).
-"Angry" (ea. Oct. 2008 - cable).
-"Bungee" (Sept. 16, 2008 - cable).

Vets for Freedom
-"One Letter" (Nov. 4, 2008 - OH, PA).
-"Skipped" (Oct. 1-9, 2008 - CA).

-"Petraeus v. Obama" (Sept. 17, 2008 - nat'l cable).
-"Re-enlistment" (Sept. 2, 2008 - Minneapolis, MN).
-"I am the Surge" (Aug. 28, 2008 - Denver, CO; then in Minneapolis, MN; and in CO, MI, OH, VA through mid-Sept. 2008).

-"Some in Washington" (July 16, 2008 - MI, NM, OH, PA, VA and cable).

National Right to Life PAC
-"Waiting for Obama's Apology" (did it run?)

Real Truth About Obama, Inc.

The Denver Group
-TV ad (starting Aug. 22, 2008 - targeting Denver, CO).

see also:

2004 Interest Group/Indep. Expenditure Ads
Interest Group Ads - 2008 Presidential Primaries

An excellent look at the independent ads can be found at "The Secret Money Project," a joint endeavor of NPR and the Center for Investigative Reporting, reported by NPR's Power, Money and Influence Correspondent Peter Overby and CIR's Will Evans.

See also: Campaign Finance Institute's Oct. 31, 2008 press release "
Outside Soft Money Groups Approaching $400 Million in Targeted Spending in 2008 Election" (includes spending on House and Senate races).

Copyright © 2008  Eric M. Appleman/Democracy in Action