There’s a new project out from PBS NewsHour that allows anyone to create political ads for themselves with Facebook data. It’s called Ad Libs, and it’s a fun and informative way to show voters exactly how cookie cutter political ads really are.
“Do you know how political campaign ads work? How they’re built? What they’re meant to tell you? Most political ads follow a rigid set of guidelines and fall into one of a few categories. We’ve put together a few samples for you to customize with your information and imagination. It’s fun, it’s fast, and you’ll never watch campaign ads the same way again!” says PBS.
The Ad Lib ad maker allows you to make character ads (pro) and attack ads (negative). Within the attack ads, you can either use the “attack character” or “attack credentials” template.
Making your own attack ad (against yourself) is easy. Once you log in via Facebook, a boilerplate attack ad begins to play. The video stops at key moments to allow you to insert images and quotes from your Facebook profile.
First, you’ll choose an unflattering picture. The Ad Libs ad maker puts it in black and white, because we all know that black and white means bad when it comes to political ads. Next, you’ll be asked to choose an “out of context newspaper quote,” which means one of your statuses. You’re then asked to chose even more out-of-context quotes based on your statuses.
You can replay your video once it’s made, or share it to Facebook. In the end, you’ll have a hilarious attack ad against yourself that looks something like this:
Of course, you can make a positive ad – but where’s the fun in that?