'Gossip Girl' Stars Featured in New MoveOn Ad
By Ed O'Keefe and Garance Franke-Ruta
Spoofing antidrug public service announcements that target teens and their risky behavior, the latest commercial from MoveOn.org Political Action stars two actors from the hit CW teen soap opera "Gossip Girl" encouraging parents to just say no to a behavior common to their age group: voting for John McCain.
"Mom, Dad, I found this in your room," opens Penn Badgley, who plays bookish "Lonely Boy" Dan Humphrey on the show, holding up a "Drill, Baby, Drill" hat.
"Just because other people are doing it, doesn't make it cool," says another -- and not famous -- youngster in the spot, warning against the effects of peer pressure.
"Voting Republican even once could have disastrous effects that last for years," adds another.
"You're not only risking your future, you're risking mine," a third says in a guilt-trip.
"And if you're ever out somewhere and you're considering voting McCain, just call me, and I'll come pick you up, no questions asked," concludes Blake Lively, who stars as chill bad girl Serena van der Woodsen in "Gossip Girl," where her character routinely is called to come to the aid of friends in the middle of the night.
The ad, which points viewers to the "Partnership for a McCain-Free White House" site, will air during upcoming broadcasts of the show on CW, and during local cable ad breaks on MTV and Comedy Central in North Carolina and Nevada.
It's a tiny ad buy, considering the less-than-stellar TV ratings for "Gossip Girl" and the low price of local cable ad time, but the spot seems destined for wide play on the Internet, where "Gossip Girl" has become an iTunes must-download for many and anything featuring its actors has a devoted and built-in audience.
The spot also drives home a message that Barack Obama's campaign has pushed in recent days: that young people are best positioned to talk to their parents out of voting for McCain. "Are you sure if your parents are voting for Obama?" asks the Obama site devoted to this push. "If not, you may be the only person who can convince them. If you haven't already, it's time for you to have 'The Talk' with your parents and other family members."
The MoveOn site also features a how-to guide, asking: "Are your parents thinking about voting for McCain? It's time to have 'The Talk.'"
MoveOn aired a similar pro-Obama pharmaceutical ad/antidrug ad spoof aimed at young voters in late July.
Posted at 12:14 PM ET on Oct 14, 2008
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