McCain’s Racial Subliminal Ads

Bob Herbert offers a psychological analysis of McCain’s Britney Spears/Paris Hilton advertisement. I was always wondering why some people said that this ad was similar to the Harold Ford ad the GOP ran against him which stirred racial tensions between Black men with White women but now I can understand why.

When I saw this commercial this is not what came to mind at, all but after looking at it again I do see the subliminal messages which are similar to the Harold Ford ad. Of all the famous people like Tom Cruise, Katie Holmes, Brad and Angelina they chose two sleezy famous women. Paris appears to be posing at a destination and Britney is arriving at a particular destination as she is getting out of a car. Next you see the large crowds, which are supposed to be attributed to Obama, but the Washington Monument is in the background.

So is one of the many messages that these two very rich, famous, sleezy women would not have been interested in appearing at an Obama victory rally until after he has won in Washington? And if he doesn’t win then you don’t have to worry about these two women or women like this showing any interest in him? (or others like him)

I believe that the rise of interracial relationships that include lower class whites is due to the popularity of Rap and R&B. Through heavy commercialization of the Thug Image through the media, politics, world class musical awards the black thug has increased it’s appeal world wide. But what does that leave out? The black educated. Usually the educated black is pushed aside because the thug fetish is not there. Calling him uppity or too white. Even some lower class black women have a turn off from the Educated class of Black men. They may try it out for financial stability but sexual the attraction is still for the thug.

There isn’t a commercial thrive to push the educated black mans status to the same level of the thug rap artist. But like Rap it took a flood of the 70% White sales and a lot of acceptance in the pop culture to acquire it’s current status.

But now you have Sen. Obama, an educated Black man who has both charisma and oratory skills, causing some people to cry and even pass out in his rallies. He is threatening the suppression of the appeal for the Educated Black man and if he gets all the way into the Oval office not only will it set an example for others to possibly follow but the psychological effect of seeing lots of young WHITE women screaming over an educated black man display of his intellect is something SOMEBODY doesn’t want to happen. The spot light will be on the part of the black community which the media pays little attention to and the negative stereotype will take a major hit.

What better way to instill those fears? The inclusion of Nicole Richie would have been counter productive because she is bi racial. Or maybe she was left out because the intent of the message would have been TOO obvious or it would have taken away from the effect of two blond rich White women who are now showing an interest in someone who is not a musical artist. And you know what other thoughts lead from that with the two women they selected.

You know what they say the difference is between a whore and a bitch? A whore screws everybody. A bitch screws everybody but you! Now of all the people Paris has been with have you ever seen her with a Black guy? How about Brittney? Well the subliminal message is ( or could have been) Vote for Obama and you will possibly transform them from being the bitches to equal opportunity whores.

If you didn’t see the ad here it goes. Notice all the flashes and images:

Herbert explains his piece in these two videos.

Bob Herbert on Morning Joe Part 1

Bob Herbert on Morning Joe Part 2

Now let place these comments in this context

“You’re not supposed to see them consciously. This is marketing 101. Every tenth of every second of a high-profile advertisement is scrutinized by those who create them. You want some evidence? Look at about any beer/cigarette ad in existence, and you will find suggestive shadows, angles the beers are set in the ice to look like spread legs. It’s more overt in ads for those things but this is basic info if you have taken a high-school level psychology class. No detail is accidental in an ad.
Mr.Herbert’s so called “drivel” is clearly obvious to anyone who knows anything about marketing. I am serious. This is literally public high-school level psychology. This is settled science. There is no detail too tiny to scrutinize in an advertisement, and absolutely nothing in a high-price advertisement is accidental. The reason everyone “didn’t see it” is that they weren’t supposed to “see” it. It’s all about back-ground and subtext. The business of influencing the public is an exact science.”

Click here for the Bob Herberts piece.

And for more info on subliminal ads look up Harold Ford’s run for senate and the ads run against him, and then compare the two.

The editorial board apologies for the delay in this guest commentary by Dreadsen, which was supposed to be posted on August 9, 2008. Any dated information is the fault of YD2008 Editorial Board, and not the writer.

  • Some people tend to overthink things.

    Paris Hilton and Britney Spears were chosen because they’re the most recognizable dumb-ass celebrities in America and probably the world today and the GOP are trying to paint Obama in the same light. After George W.Bush, nobody wants another dumb ass in The White House.


    They are two of the biggest celebs thats why they were chosen. This is just retarded.

  • Dreadsen


    Then why did they use a white woman to blow a kiss at Harold Ford instead of a Black woman?
    And his numbers dropped big time.

    Never underestimate the power of perception in advertising. The ad was intended to be taken many different ways by many different people.

  • The Harold Ford campaign ads were downright dirty, but comparisons shouldn’t be made between them and Obama simply because they’re both black.

    Harold Fords were outright don’t trust a black guy, and Obama’s was simply don’t trust him because he’s hollow with no substance like Paris Hilton and Britney Spears.

    Damn, I’m finding myself agreeing with O_S…what is the world coming to?

  • Rayven

    What about the Moses one nzpudding. I think that one was the worst.They are not being blunt about it,.They are using code.

    Uppity code of educated.People in he south and some small town understand.Or you can say elitist.

  • People Pleezer

    “One day, an obese friend of mine decided to get my help while shopping for clothes. My friend is notorious for buying clothes that are way too small. I was asked to tag along for my opinion that is highly regarded and emotional support. After trying on several outfits that looked more like a fit for my 5 y.o. neice, I broke down and told her the “truth” that none of our other friends had the guts to do. I said that we needed to head over to the plus sizes so that we could find something that fit in her size. She became enraged. She told me that I had no right to judge her, even though I was invited to do just that, and that I was not a true friend of hers. She told me that she wanted to leave because I embarrassed her in front of strangers, even though we were in the dressing room alone, and that I needed to find a ride home. Wow. So, as I watched my friend storm off, I left her with these words, I know you think that I hurt your feelings, but it was not I, it was the truth that did.”

    The truth hurts people. This article’s truth hurts some so badly that they would rather deny, prepare weak excuses, and blog in anger without taking time to look in the mirror and see the T.R.U.T.H.

  • Perhaps we should tax fat people.

  • I think this guy gives McCain way too much credit. *L* I agree with pudding and O_S, the celebs were picked because they’re the most outragous celebs in the tabloids. Maybe Brittany was chosen because her designer was hired to design the democatic convention stage. Paris Hilton was just a good choice, as evidenced by her response. *L*

    Did I see somewhere in this a reference to the Washington Monument? I didn’t it anywhere in the commercial. I see the statue in Germany in the park where he was speaking, not the Washinton Monument.

    This really sounds Michael Moorish to me. Good commentary, though, Dreadsen, I can tell a lot of thought went into it.

  • Melvin

    Hello everyone,

    Unfortunately there is a short shot of what appears to be the Washington monument in that clip, cut in with clips from Germany as well.

    Now to agree with Babs, O_S, and NZP I don’t believe MCCain would have done this for those types of reactions because honestly I don’t think he has that much creative ingenuity. I do however not put that past others in the party to concoct for just that reason. Hell and I have almost exclusively voted Republican back when I was a voter in US elections.

    Let’s put a little history to work here.

    When the cotton growers wanted Hemp made illegal to keep from fighting them in the textile market, they couldn’t get past the doctors that said it should stay legal, so they created campaigns say “Marijuana makes black men rape white women”.

    To help pass prohibition. It was the reports said that “liquor makes black men rape white women, and makes good god fearing women sleep with black men”.

    Fast forward to Harold Ford, and the trend continues.

    All of that being said sometimes it does show desperate times which could have been avoided if the intelligent people had won out and the RNC had just nominated Fred Thompson. I am neither Democrat or Republican and as I stated when I was a voting citizen I almost exclusively voted Republican, but I have to admit myself that I couldn’t even find it within myself to vote for McCain strictly because he is Republican. I’m sorry but I would have even had much much much more respect for him had he chosen Elizabeth Dole for his running mate. I know CG likes Palin but pound for pound when I measure experience and qualifications Dole is by far the most qualified woman to run this county in the event McCain can’t.

    Yes I know they are the same age, but women in this county live on average 5 years longer than men and at least I would have felt more at ease with her than any of the people currently running on either side.

    Now the Moses ad was just plain wrong and someone needs to be hit for making it.

    I’m personally tired of the damn stupidity and attack ads from both sides, and everyone here knows they have been coming from both camps so lets not argue and say whichever person you are for is innocent. The only innocent politician in this damn country is the 19yo Mayor in Oklahoma, and I’m sure he has done something wrong in his life already.

  • yungun

    obama is not even black. he’s bi-racial. plus, he was raised by his white grandparents. so, he’s a very square, bi-racial man. not even close to average black men. what has race got to do with it?