Let’s get it out of the way up front: Bankrupting America wins.
Crossroads GPS released this video this week:
It’s pretty funny – the sarcastic tone and the point of view – as a mock government promotion – make for a great political video. It probably won’t change many minds on Obamacare, but it will take people who are leaning against it and help illustrate why the program is so flawed. For people who instinctively dislike Obamacare, but aren’t quite sure why, this illustrates it in a funny way. If this aired during the local news, you’d stop and take notice.
It calls to mind this video from last month from Public Notice’s Bankrupting America. The Office parody (which I’ve already gushed about) pokes fun at government’s excessive spending. Bankrupting America’s effort enjoys good acting and writing, but doesn’t have quite the same production value as Crossroads GPS’s commercial. What it does have is the potential to illustrate all that’s wrong with a big government mentality. It plays on people’s notions of inefficient government, but doesn’t ask the viewer to make the mental heavy lift of deciding on a policy position. The single episode that has been released has the potential to blossom into something more that entertains first, and leaves impressions about bureaucracy as a by-product. As satire, it’s more effective than the Obamacare video, as a political messaging device it is less efficient.
You might take notice of Crossroads GPS’s video if you saw it in the background. But you’re interested in seeing more about the characters in the Bankrupting America video. You want to see more of the protagonist deranged boss and the Carter Administration holdover who just doesn’t care.
Walt Disney once said, “I would rather entertain and hope that people learned something than educate people and hope they were entertained.” Both of these videos are funny, but Bankrupting America has the potential for a broader appeal because it does a better job of staying true to that mindset.