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?”
“The Liberal Democratic Party – We have a basis.”
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)