‘Truth’s’ Guggenheim Had Hand in Obama Infomercial

Oct 30, 2008  •  Post A Comment

Barack Obama’s half-hour infomercial, which drew rave reviews for production, was produced by two leaders of the campaign’s ad team—Jim Margolis of ad agency GMMB and Mark Putnam of ad agency Murphy/Putnam—but it had some Hollywood help.
Playing a role in its production was Davis Guggenheim, the Academy Award-winning director and executive producer of Al Gore’s “The Inconvenient Truth.” Mr. Guggenheim was a producer and director of HBO’s “Deadwood” and has directed episodes of a number of TV shows.
Mr. Guggenheim also produced some of the films that were shown at the Democratic National Convention.
The half-hour Obama ad that aired Wednesday night on CBS, NBC, Fox, Univision and some cable networks offered biographical information on the candidate’s background and family; comments from Sen. Obama, some live from a Florida campaign event, laying out his plans for dealing with problems including the economy and healthcare; comments from some high-profile supporters; and stories about the struggles of four voters and their families.
While Mr. Margolis and Mr. Putnam put the ad together and laid out its format, Mr. Guggenheim produced the stories of the four voters.
Mr. Guggenheim did not return a call seeking comment.
An Obama campaign source said the ad was designed to answer voter questions shortly before the election, and that the biggest challenge was the limited time available to produce it.
“It was not that hard from an advertising perspective to decide what to do. Voters were hungry for a sense of where a candidate would go and we wanted to give them a clear sense,” he said.
“We really believed that the things voters are most anxious for are clear ideas about where to take the country, so there was lots of looking the camera straight in the eye.
“The second idea was to provide context and to show that Barack Obama really believes in the solution that he is proposing by showing where he came from and the biographical elements that informed his proposal. Then we wanted to make sure that the voices of America came through. Finally we had some opportunity to make sure the moment wasn’t lost,” hence the ad’s inclusion of live comments by the candidate from the Florida campaign event.
(1:25 p.m.: Added comment from Obama campaign source)


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