CNN political ads CNN political ads

For this election year, CNN is trying something new: animation.

The cable channel will advertise its coverage of political events through November with a series of animated clips.

Here are the details:

  • The ads will feature dialogues between a donkey and an elephant, the symbols of the Democratic and Republican Parties respectively. The humorous tone and artisanal look were revealed in a teaser:
  • According to Variety, which first reported the news of the campaign, CNN will run as many as four spots. They will remind viewers to tune into political conventions, Election Day results, and other potential events. The characters will also feature online, including on social media.
  • Variety notes that CNN will present the donkey and elephant as longtime associates, even if they don’t get on perfectly well. Coming at a time of unprecedented partisan antipathy, this is a political statement in itself. Whit Friese, vice president and group creative director at CNN, compares the pair to cantankerous Muppets Statler and Waldorf.
  • “If we do it right,” said Allison Gollust, executive vice president and chief marketing officer of CNN Worldwide, “[the characters] could be something that becomes iconic for CNN throughout our coverage of the next few months.”
  • The campaign was created with the Portland, Oregon-based animation studio House Special and ad agency Fig. House Special was Laika/House, the commercial arm of stop-motion studio Laika (Missing Link), before being spun off into an independent entity not owned by Laika in 2014. Its past clients include M&Ms, Apple, and ESPN.
  • Election years normally boost tv ad revenues, and this year is shaping up no different, despite the overall dent in the market caused by the pandemic. According to a new forecast by media agency Zenith, ad spending is projected to drop by “only” 7% in the U.S. this year, as opposed to 9.1% globally.

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