Kucinich Prepares to Launch Ad Push

LOS ANGELES The first of nine ads produced, written and directed by George Lois for Democratic presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich targets young Americans with the message that they could be drafted if hostilities continue in Iraq.

In the 30-second spot, which breaks Jan. 4 in Iowa, New Hampshire and Washington, D.C., the camera zooms in on Kucinich’s eyes as actor Danny Glover says, “Listen up, young America. The preemptive war continues to drive our foreign policy. If our volunteer troops are stretched thinner and thinner, you could be facing compulsory draft. All young Americans deserve a world without end, not a war without end.”

At the beginning of the spot, the words “Fear Ends” in red type fill the screen, followed by the words “Hope Begins” in white type. Lois said the graphic motif will be used for the duration of the campaign.

At the end of the spot, Glover reads the campaign tagline: “Kucinich: The eyes that see through the lies.” Kucinich’s twist on the mandatory disclaimer is to say on camera, “I’m Dennis Kucinich and I’m running for president. Do I approve this commercial? You bet!”

In addition to his contributions to advertising during stints at New York agencies Doyle Dane Bernbach to Papert Koenig Lois, Lois previously worked on the senatorial campaigns of Jacob Javits (1962), Robert F. Kennedy (1964) and Warren Magnuson (1968). During that era, he also tried to influence political thinking with work such as a freedom campaign for imprisoned boxer Rubin “Hurricane” Carter and controversial Esquire magazine covers, including one picturing then vice president Hubert Humphrey on the lap of Lyndon Johnson as if he were a ventriloquist’s dummy.

Lois said he became involved in Kucinich’s campaign when The New York Times randomly assigned Lois and other designers the task of creating mock campaign posters. “The shtick was that with traditional advertising people, no political advertising stands out,” said Lois. “Kucinich is actually going to use the poster as one of the posters for the campaign.”