LDP releases YouTube-only attack ad against DPJ

Leading up to Japan’s Lower House election on August 30, the ruling LDP has come out with an interesting animated attack ad against main rival DPJ:


The scene: a fancy restaurant overlooking the Diet building. A young Yukio Hatoyama lookalike is proposing to the girl of his dreams. He asks, “won’t you switch to me?” (僕に交代してみませんか?) and promises that if she chooses him, she can have everything she ever wanted – free childcare, free education, no more expressway tolls, the works.

Unimpressed, the woman asks, “Do you have the money for that?”

His reply: “I’ll consider the details once we’re married!”

The scene goes black, and we see the slogan:

“Can you entrust your life to confidence without any basis in reality?”
(根拠のない自信に人生を預けられますか?)
“The Liberal Democratic Party – We have a basis.”
(根拠がある。自民党)


Trust me, it sounds better in Japanese.

Frankly, this is a well-made and impressive ad, much like the American attack ads from the 2008 presidential elections. It casts the DPJ as irresponsible, frames the choice using a clear and apt analogy, and presents the LDP as the viable alternative.

I can easily see it becoming a viral hit as it’s already making the rounds of 2ch and at least one “alpha” blogger. As of this writing the video has merely 70,000 views, though that already makes it the most viewed LDP video ever in just three days since it was posted.

I am a little conflicted here – I want to say there’s not much potential for Youtube to be a decisive factor in the upcoming Lower House election given that the majority of the voters are elderly and thus not Youtube viewers. But these ads might not be so much about getting out the youth vote for the LDP as much as dampening any good feelings people might have about the DPJ. That way more of the youth vote might stay home, thus mitigating LDP losses.

The DPJ does not appear to have any similar attack ads. Their focus seems to be more on defining the DPJ as the party of responsibility that can solve Japan’s various problems.

Their attempts at “animation” could use some improvement if they want the otaku vote:

(videos via Hiroshi Yamaguchi)

27 thoughts on “LDP releases YouTube-only attack ad against DPJ

  1. I must concur with this post. That ad kind of rocks. I’m not a fan of the LDP, but that ad has a strong impact.

  2. Yup, that’s reason #1 not to vote DPJ —their primary reason to vote for them is… uh… the only four characters plastered over every poster: Seiken koudai, change government. Give me a break.

  3. Sorry, watching the DPJ ads… please. These guys are such a bunch of amateurs. They were doing fine until the goofy bg music and Ozawa montage.

  4. Those DPJ ads weren’t exactly the real thing, were they? And their 2007 TV ads weren’t so bad, in a touchy feelly type of way. They were pretty much on message too.

    These guys take the cake for amateurism, methinks.

    I wonder what the guy on the date above would say were he the LDP. “Stick with me darling, and I’ll kick my schizophrenia!” would be my guess.

  5. “If you stick with me you will get free childcare and free education. As long as we live in my district.”

  6. “Darling, I don’t care about your past relationships. I have made a point of mostly not talking about history for the last fifty years.”

  7. “Some of us were Dems half century ago.And this is where we are standing now”.

    “We’ve got rid of Ozawa waaay back in ‘93.”

    “We are everything DPJ is not”.

  8. Whatever happened to Jesus Masayoshi? Or the anarchist from Fukuoka who ran in the Tokyo gubernatorial election? Those are some candidates who would make this exciting.

  9. Whatever happened to Jesus Masayoshi? Or the anarchist from Fukuoka who ran in the Tokyo gubernatorial election? Or the so-called Doctor who wanted to shoot down North Korea’s missiles with lazers? Those are some candidates who would make this exciting.

  10. “The anarchist from Fukuoka”

    Toyama Koichi? He’s still kicking around, isn’t he? He ran for president last year!

    Sounds like something Francis Fukuyama once said about global citizenship.

  11. I keep hearing about Masayoshi Jesus, but I can’t find anything on the man. Anyone care to point me in the right direction/

  12. I agree that the message of the LDP is somewhat effective, but I would not say that it is “a well-made and impressive ad, much like the American attack ads from the 2008 presidential elections.” The ad uses sub-par animation and displays low production values.

    Compare that to this:
    http://www.livingroomcandidate.org/commercials/2008/fundamentals

    Or from the other side of the aisle, this:
    http://www.livingroomcandidate.org/commercials/2008/man-in-the-arena-web

    As long as it is effective, I don’t think the LDP minds, but it does not seem to have the same money behind it that the US ads do.

  13. Thanks Don! I had done a bunch of searches for Matsuyoshi and Masayoshi, along with ジーザス and イエス in Japanese to (obviously) no avail.

  14. Marxy,

    Now that the LDP likes the kakusa shakai, we don’t all go down together. Those with marketable skills get to sink last.

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