Political Ad Pileup

Those in charge of the never-ending electoral process could take a lesson in speedy turnaround from the ad industry. Not a week after the chaos began, several advertising and design agencies had already produced ads taking advantage of the confusion.

Leading the fray was a Chicago agency called & Wojdyla. ByNov. 10, it had created a USA Today ad for Burger King’s Whopper that read: “Chosen by 3,574,857 people every day. (No recount necessary)” as well as its own trade ad featuring the infamous Palm Beach County butterfly ballot. The line? “Never underestimate the role of good design.”

The shop wasn’t the only one quick to pick up on the ballot’s advertising possibilities: Last Tuesday, The New York Times carried an ad for Graham Clifford Design in New York that also showed the ballot and ran with a quote from Graham Clifford: “Perhaps the first vote should have been for a better design.”

As if that wasn’t enough, E. James White Communications in Herndon, Va., used the ballot in a trade ad with copy that asked: “How has poor art direction affected your life?”

Finally, a new ad for Monster.com by Arnold in Boston features photos of Bush and Gore with the tagline, “Getting a better job shouldn’t be this tough.”

As the process drags on, will election-themed ads continue? Dan Barron of Conroy Barron public relations says, “Never underestimate the inclination of ad folk to take advantage of anything.”