Behind the scenes of a political commercial

Ever wondered what it’s like behind the scenes of the creation of a political commercial? You won’t want to miss this.

This video documents the creation of a TV ad for the 1992 Dick Simpson for Congress campaign in Illinois. Simpson, a noted Chicago progressive, was running against Dan Rostenkowski, who had held his post since 1959. The commercial involves a full studio audience of cheering supporters, some live music, and many, many takes. Although the amount of money spent on political TV advertising has skyrocketed into the billions this year, the root of hustle is still the same.

The footage was shot by Bill Stamets for the PBS show The 90’s but didn’t make it on air. It was discovered and digitized as part of our “Save America’s Treasures” / Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation project that helped us save hundreds of fragile tapes documenting this fascinating moment in American and Illinois politics.

Making a Political Commercial

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