Saturday, April 16, 2016

Local Writer Volunteers His Talent and Advertising Experience To Help Boost Bernie Sanders

Local Writer Volunteers His Talent and Advertising Experience To Help Boost Bernie Sanders

    By Paul Steven Stone

( Click on to enlarge)

If you follow what’s happening on the internet, you will witness the Democratic Party’s political battle for the American presidency being fought fast and furiously in the trenches. Featuring home-made videos, media story hyperlinks and highly creative memes hyping or haranguing the candidates, this battle allows the followers of both Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders to personally engage in the battle for the hearts and minds of the voting public.

As a politically astute writer with progressive leanings, I was surprisingly unaware of Bernie Sanders for the first half year of his campaign. But then as I listened and watched him move across the country espousing the very same beliefs and observations I had developed over the last 30 years—especially after the protests of the Occupy Movement—I began to, yes!, ‘Feel The Bern.’ And next I knew I was stepping wholly into the fray, creating an entire ad campaign with the aid of a partner who would design the ads. Together we help people start to realize (mirroring my own experience) just who Bernie Sanders is, and what he stands for.

  Our first ad in our “CHANNELING BERNIE” ad campaign, a series of 36 ads so far, created to elevate the underwhelming online communications I had seen coming out of Bernie’s camp. It was an effort wholly epic in the great American tradition. Two advertising veterans creating an online campaign for Bernie Sanders' seemingly quixotic reach for the presidency.

It's been an amazing journey, creating these ads, one in which I've honestly felt like I've been channeling the candidate's vision and perspective. Of course, there’s always the possibility he's been in my head over the years and I just didn't know it. Check out the campaign at and decide for yourself. 

A short word about the unusual format of the ads themselves. I recently saw an ad from an advertising award show that gave me the idea to have my headlines serve as the start and finish to the ad's entire text, creating a sandwich effect, so to speak. It just meant I would create each ad’s headline in two pieces, an interesting effect by itself, no matter what the message might be.

I'm not sure why, but the ads proved to be highly compelling and more readable than the usual run of political online or print ads.

As to why, it could be I’ve excited the reader's natural curiosity about how I, the ad-maker, forced the start and the finish of the copy to fit within the narrative flow. Or there might be some momentum-building effect by having the beginning of an ad suddenly leap to the ad's conclusion? Either way, the ads are uniquely readable in this format.

And so, with art direction by Bill Dahlgren, concept and copy by Paul Steven Stone, I offer for your inspection, enjoyment and further distribution the 36—Count 'Em!— 36 ads that make up the Primary Phase of our "Channeling Bernie" advertising campaign.

Whether Bernie wins or loses his campaign, I will certainly feel I did my best!

Again, you can find the campaign at:

Cambridge-based Paul Steven Stone is a long time veteran of Boston advertising and other writing ventures. His best-known work is the branding and multi-faceted advertising campaign he created for W.B. Mason. Novelist, humorist, political commentator, bloggist, Stone has been writing for over half a century. To see more of Stone’s work and biography, go to You can find his blog at

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