Chicago architecture turns political

October 28, 2010

I fell asleep with the TV on earlier this week, and awakened to a campaign commercial with the ghostly images of senate candidate Alexi Giannoulias appearing and re-appearing on the facades of Chicago architecture.

Couldn't be. This is what I get for eating that giant sandwich before going to bed, I thought.

Turns out the commercial is real.

The ad, paid for by the Washington D.C. based National Republican Senatorial Committee begins with a man--standing on the most unrealistic-looking Chicago street since  that "Capone's Chicago" place in River North closed up in the 1990s--looking up and seeing an image of Democrat candidate Giannoulias projected onto the curtain wall of a building, saying "We need an income tax increase." Then, an elderly couple with binoculars spots the same clip of Giannoulias, this time played out on the facade of Trump Tower.

Apparently a crowd gathers by 0:14, just in time to see the Democrat's visage atop the Unitrin Building at State and Wacker again saying "We need an income tax increase." Giannoulias pops up on the entire streetwall of Wacker Drive been LaSalle and Franklin and 333 W. Wacker Drive before the 30-second commercial ends. The spot does not mention Giannoulias' Republican opponent, U.S. Congressman Mark Kirk.

I've never seen Chicago architecture used this way in a campaign ad.  I suppose using the buildings is an attempt to remind suburbanites and Downstaters that Giannoulias is not just a Democrat, but a Chicago Democrat.  Pretty effective, actually.  But I do wonder if the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee will respond. Commercials with Kirk's face washing over, what, the lawns of Ravinia?