Saturday, June 16, 2012

Faux-bamas Adding Up?

Posted By on Sat, Jun 16, 2012 at 12:55 PM

With Friends, Word?
  • Capital One
  • With Friends, Word?

With the race for the White House just beginning to kick into gear, we can all expect President Obama and Mitt Romney's respective campaigns (as well as their PACs and Super PACs) to unleash hell on our television viewing, internet browsing and even our Social Media pages, with each candidate attempting to define the other, pouncing on a gaffe, or distorting the others' record to bolster themselves.

This isn't about those ads. Plenty has been said, and plenty more will be said about them.

Also, a lot has been written about a series of ads overseas featuring Obama look alikes.

This isn't really about that, either.

This is about two ads in current rotation that feature actors who look remarkably like the President, but that are in no way supposed to be the President.

Though subtle, in Alec Baldwin's Capital One campaign, (pictured), the Faux-bama is online in an airport attempting to redeem miles for a flight. Baldwin interjects, "Frustrating, isn't it?"

In the other, for United Health Care, a coach is recovering from prostate cancer, and darned if United Health Care didn't serve as his coach through the ordeal:

Considering the care, cost, and effort that goes into developing an ad campaign (yes, we LOVE AMC's "The Pitch") it is hard to believe that the passing resemblance for the President in both ads is an accident.

Louis Ortiz looks so familiar.  Can you place it?
  • This American Life
  • Louis Ortiz looks so familiar. Can you place it?

A terrific piece on This American Life showcased the story of Louis Ortiz, an out of work competitive pool player who is a dead ringer for the President. In the piece he talks about appearing in a music video for French Montana's "Choppa Choppa Down." But he also discusses a particularly disturbing incident where he was attacked and maligned by inebriated disgruntled firefighters after a St. Patrick's Day parade at paid gig hosted in a NYC bar.

Given the poisonous divisive nature of our current political culture, why would a healthcare company in particular evoke the President? And if the point of the Capital One ad is to show how frustrating it is to deal with a failed broken promise or bureaucratic red tape, we can't help but wonder if Alec Baldwin is so committed to his ironic over-the-top jacked-up über-Donaghy pitch man persona that he didn't catch the deliberate slam to the president he's supporting with his own Twitter commentary.

Or maybe the excitement of the impending political ad-pocalypse has us so razor focused that we're already starting to read too much into everything.

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