Revolving Door

Agency:  Frankenberry Laughlin Constable
Client:  Bush/Quayle for President Campaign
Title:  “Revolving Door”
Year:  1988
Copywriter:  Dennis Frankenberry
Art Director:  John Constable
Producer:  Jo Schwerm
Director:  Pam Ferderbar

The idea: The Bush Campaign advisers asked it’s agency partners to compare and contrast the Bush strengths and Dukakis weaknesses on campaign issues as perceived by focus group participants.  While Governor, Michael Dukakis enacted a controversial prison furlough program that allowed convicted felons back into society on weekends to get re-acclimated to civilian life prior to the end of their sentence, which in the view of voters in both parties, bypassed the court’s jurisdiction and parole process.  This became an election year flash point when many of these criminals committed crimes, including rape and murder.  The agency created the metaphor that this policy was like putting a revolving door on the prison to help explain the issue quickly within the constraints of a 30-second message.  The agency campaign was largely credited with focusing the campaign on issues – crime, environment, defense and taxation – that led to Bush’s overcoming an 18% deficit to win the election by a wide margin.

  • “Polli” award for the year’s best political advertising.

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