TV Viewers are 'Fat, Lazy and Stupid'

“A television ad, you’re buying all the fat, lazy people who are too stupid to change the channel or mute the television set during commercials.”

Fightin’ words, huh?

That’s in today’s NY Times, an article on a young Massachusetts-based Congressional candidate, Sean Bielat, crafting an anti-Barney Frank ad that will run online.

The quote came from Ladd Ehlinger Jr., a director/producer who’s now in the political ad game.

Most of the conventional wisdom I’ve heard on the topic says candidates still greatly prefer the reach of TV spots to the web; every election cycle, we hear that this will be the one that sees online advertising really take off, but each Election Day seems to pass without that really happening.

Ladd Ehlinger obviously sees things differently. The video features a Barney Frank double–actually a female dancer against a green screen–literally dancing around the hot-button issues. The strategy is for the video to go viral, and the story in today’s Times certainly won’t hurt.

Despite Ehlinger’s proclamation about TV viewers being intellectually, physically and motivationally stunted, the plan also calls for a 30-second TV spot.

Bielat and Barney Frank faced off on WFTX Boston last month, only Frank was not actually in attendance–and WFXT repeatedly singled out Frank for his absence. The TV clip appears online, so it will reach a broader audience than the fat and stupid people who watch TV.

Michael Malone

Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.