Here’s the ResearchBuzz part of why I’m doing this writeup: Museum of the Moving Image has a Web site called The Living Room Candidate, available at http://livingroomcandidate.org. This site contains over 500 commercials covering every presidential election from 1952 on up. That’s quite an archive. The site also has free downloadable lesson plans and the ability to view the commercials by type (biographical, fear, backfire, etc.) or by issue (civil rights, taxes, war, etc.)
The site has been up for a couple of years. I am covering it now because of the newly-launched AdMaker, an editing tool that will allow you to remix campaign ads or make new ones. The new tool is available at http://www.livingroomcandidate.org/admaker.
This page only has a couple of full commercials for remixing (one with John McCain and another with Nixon/Humphrey) but there’s also a feature that allows you to mix your own commercial.
You’re given snippets of media and tools in several different categories, including images, audio, video, transitions, effects, etc. Editing is via a simple click and drag layout; clicking on the end of a snippet and pulling it allows you to edit it down where you want it. (Video is added with audio, but an audio control on the right allows you to control the volume.) You can only add one layer of video at a time but multiple layers of audio are supported.
Don’t see what you like in the available media? AdMaker allows you to easily upload your own and integrate it into your commercial. And that’s how I ended up with video of a bear wandering around the woods with a voiceover of Bill Clinton saying he’d inhale if he had to do over again, all to the background soundtrack of Laurie Anderson’s Sharkey’s Day. And if you registered with The Living Room Candidate, you can save your masterpiece for later perusal.
I had a tremendous amount of fun with this. I hope Museum of the Moving Image expands the number of clips available in AdMaker. I can imagine some talented people making great ads.