The smoking Block

This came to me yesterday, but it was by link only at the time, so I didn’t write it. Now everyone and their WatchDog seems to think it’s a Really Big Deal.

The best analysis I’ve seen so far is from New York Magazine. If the video above is of interest to you, I suggest you take the time to read that article.

Now, I think it’s a hoot. I also think it’s (expletive) brilliant. Like better-than-Ron-Johnson’s-whiteboard brilliant.

One point that article missed is that a whole lot of voting hipsters who used to sway towards Obama smoke cigarettes. It’s the darnedest thing.  There is no doubt a viral piece like this is going to hit on a dozen targets. Think Mad Men. Retro is very cool right now. The Film Noir approach is hip in many ways.

Just to give you a good evening giggle, I’ll mention that a friend of mine thinks I should solicit (ahem) Block to work as the Wisconsin chair for Cain’s campaign. It’s so tempting. The spouse even said half laughing that I should go for it!

Think about it. I liked Cain before Cain was cool, I certainly have the time, I have a few decent RNC and media connections, and hey, I live about half a mile from Romney’s Wisconsin co-chair. 🙂 (Has anyone figured out who the other co-chair is in that equation?)

So, Mark Block if you are reading and you want a hard worker that’s cheaply had (another uhem), you know where to find me.


  1. Ohhhhhh that cigarette at the end is soooooooooooooooooooooooooooo un-pc like. But that’s Mark Block for you.

    Herman Cain has put together a respectable campaign for the White House. And a BIG hat tip to Mark Block for making it happen.

    He deserves it.

  2. Go see the next one. 🙂

  3. I’ve had a marketing motto for years, ‘ Different is always better.’ well, this IS different. Sure to get noticed. I am so amused at the in-your-face Madison Avenue -take that!- attitude these spots imply.

  4. I’m amused by them as well. There’s no doubt in my mind there’s a spot of genius behind them. Think about it – these aren’t tv ads, they are interenet memes set to distribute at a time when every other candidate is finally coming to the table with a tax plan.

    If you sit and think about it a bit, it kind of blows your mind. In a good way.

  5. I’m REALLY digging that song in the background.

    Here’s the full version.

    It has the chance to replace Lee Greenwood’s “God Bless the USA,” which is often sung at many Republican Lincoln Day Dinners and events. Every time I hear that song I think of Chicken Cordon Bleu.


  6. That was good for a full out belly laugh. Thanks anonpoli.

  7. Randy in Richmond says:

    What this clever ad does is remind me of what our President promised to help him get elected:

    I can make a firm pledge. Under my plan, no family making less than $250,000 a year will see any form of tax increase. Not your income tax, not your payroll tax, not your capital gains taxes, not any of your taxes.

    Yet after being in office less than 1 month he signed a law raising the federal tax on a pack of cigarettes ( and other tobacco products) by 61 cents a pack.

  8. It’s controversial, inexpensively produced, and is sure to gain additional mileage on the comedy circuit. You just know Stewart, Colbert, and others will make a mockery of this. But that’s great! It’s FREE publicity! And if you’re on a nation-wide book selling tour … well, it’s a dream come true.

    Very Palinesque.

  9. Milton, I smell your fear, and I confess, it’s intoxicating.

  10. Randy in Richmond says:

    Boy, Palinesque… I like it.

  11. The smell of fear doesn’t excite me in the least. To each his own, I guess. 😉

  12. How interesting you didn’t choose to deny your fear.

  13. And yet you won’t admit your own…

  14. BrkfldDad says:

    Just by chance this was a video hit from the page Anonpoli linked to…

  15. BrkfldDad says:

    I find it ironic that the simplicity and message of it all is lost on the left. Who cares what Letterman and Colbert parody, nothing is off limits to them. I like Colbert, but Letterman is quite the letch. Regardless, the lowest common denominator is that this has gotten play, and there’s a reason. Fear is a great way to put it Cindy.

  16. Loved that video link!

  17. Randy in Richmond says:

    Letterman is not only the letch you refer to Brkfld Dad, but he is a bitter, dirty old man 1 percenter.

    Is smoking illegal ?

  18. @Randy – you are so correct.

  19. I agree with you BrkfldDad. The simplicity and messege of it all is lost on me. In terms of smart marketing, the video is obviously a huge success because it keeps Cain’s name in the headlines. It seems everyone in the political “know” is talking about it. No question about it.

    But I’ve watched it a few times now and I’m still puzzled as to what I should fear from the messege (and I’ll admit I didn’t even know who this guy Block was until today). As a liberal, should I be fearing Herman Cain’s rise to the top of the GOP tatum pole? I don’t know. You guys go through candidates like T.P.

    There’s a lot of liberals out there, myself included, who don’t care if a guy smokes a grit in an ad or anywhere else. And the last time I checked, most moderate liberals aren’t really worried about the indirect jab at Obama as they have little emotional attachment to the man or his politics.

    I guess what I’m trying to say is that this ad doesn’t really matter much to people outside of very politically affluent voters. IOW, Team GOP or Team DNC. And the general election is over a year away so what difference does this all make since the people outside of those teams are the people that are going to decide the next President?

  20. “this ad doesn’t really matter much to people outside of very politically affluent voters”

    Ding ding ding ding ding!

    Who does Cain need to be influencing right now?

  21. my personal choice is Will Rogers

  22. My preference was for Dale Evens.

  23. what about Trigger ? or Gabby Hayes. or Roy Rogers tumbling in the tumbleweed.

  24. Milton – Happy trails…to you….

  25. Randy in Richmond says:

    Mark Block needs to go. He apparently is a loose canon. If Cain is serious about becoming President he will sever ties with Block.