Affleck and Damon for Obama

Movie stars help with Obama ad

BEN AFFLECK carries daughter Violet in Barack Obama’s birthplace of Hawaii together with wife Jennifer Garner and Matt Damon.
Film, music celebrities to judge
‘Obama in 30 Seconds’ entries

Thursday, 13 March 2008

WASHINGTON – Sen. Barack Obama’s advertising team is getting some friendly competition from film pros with some Oscar clout like Ben Affleck and Matt Damon.
The liberal group, reprising a 2004 ad contest against President Bush, has enlisted the actors to help select an ad supporting Obama’s campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination. MoveOn plans to air the winning commercial on national television, but organizers hope the real benefit could come simply from media attention, Internet buzz and the star power behind it.
“The spirit of the contest is to put into video form what it is that you think will help push Obama over the top,” said Iliyse Hogue, the campaign director for Political Action. “It’s a great thing for aspiring ad makers and film makers who want to participate in a meaningful way.”
Participants in the “Obama in 30 Seconds” contest will have until April 1 to submit their entries. MoveOn members, which the organization places at 3.2 million people, will be able to vote on their favorites by watching them on the MoveOn Web site. The top 15 entries will then be judged by a panel of liberal activists, recording artists and Hollywood notables.
Among them will be Affleck and Damon, both Academy Award-winning actors and writers. Also judging will be actor Steve Buscemi, film director Oliver Stone, singer songwriters Moby, Eddie Vedder and John Legend, civil rights leader Jesse Jackson and hip-hop entrepreneur Russell Simmons.
MoveOn plans to announce the winner five days before the April 22 Pennsylvania primary. But Hogue said the organization had not yet decided when the ad would appear on television. “We want to see what the landscape looks like,” she said. has endorsed Obama and has used its membership network to make phone calls promoting his candidacy and to hold Obama house parties in Texas. Hogue said MoveOn members have donated $600,000 to the Obama campaign through MoveOn. By law, the group is not permitted to coordinate its ad campaign with Obama’s.
In 2004, MoveOn received 1,500 entries for its “Bush in 30 Seconds” competition. The winner was an ad called “Child’s Pay,” depicting children performing adult jobs followed by the words: “Guess who’s going to pay off President Bush’s $1 trillion deficit?” CBS refused to run the ad during the Super Bowl, but it still ended up being among the most watched political commercials, receiving free air time on newscasts and Web sites.
The entries that year, however, included two that compared Bush to Hitler, which MoveOn removed from its contest Web site but which the Republican Party used as examples of “hate speech.”
The contest entries this time are explicit: “Please no personal attacks on anyone.”
Other official rules:
  • “Ads must be about Barack Obama and portray him in a positive light.”
  • “Ads should not talk about or specifically reference Hillary Clinton or any other Democratic presidential candidate.”
  • “Ads may reference John McCain, George W. Bush or the Bush administration, but only in the context of contrasting them with Barack Obama.”
Damon, Affleck team up for Obama
WASHINGTON (CNN) – Matt Damon and Ben Affleck are teaming up for a new project, but this one probably won’t lead to an Oscar.
The two actors are part of a new effort from to create a television ad in support of Barack Obama’s bid for the White House. The liberal group, which endorsed the Illinois senator last month, is asking its 3.2 million members to create a 30 second campaign commercial that “shows what inspires them about the senator’s candidacy.”
Damon and Affleck, along with film director Oliver Stone and singer John Legend, are among the panel of judges.
“After eight years of President Bush campaigning on fear and war, people are feeling hopeful again. They’re eager to talk about what inspires them about our country – and Senator Obama leading it,” Eli Pariser, Executive Director of MoveOn said. “Since creative and grassroots energy has helped power Barack Obama’s campaign from the start, this contest is a great way to deliver that message of hope to voters in Pennsylvania and across the nation.”
In a statement, Affleck said the competition is “a chance for everyone, from aspiring filmmakers to armchair pundits, to raise their voices to put Obama over the top.”
MoveOn says it will announce the winner before the crucial Pennsylvania primary which takes place early in April. It says the winning ad will air on national television but has not yet decided when. The winner will also win a gift certificate for $20,000 in video equipment.
The group held a similar competition in 2004, asking members then to create a “Bush in 30 Seconds” campaign ad. The organization received 1,500 entries in that contest.

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