QUESTION OF THE WEEK: Rate the Ad/The PrintCritic Presidential Poll

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You Joining This Party?
The next PrintCritic will appear after Election Day, so we thought we'd choose a politically-themed ad, but one that's completely nonpartisan. Assuming you consider "liberal with the cola, conservative with the Captain" to be completely nonpartisan. Anyway, is "pirating" politics like this a good idea? Rate the ad on a six-degree taste scale of excellence on the Sweet Meter, with 5 being the top score: 5 Very Sweet, 4 Sweet, 3 Semi-Dry, 2 Dry, 1 Extra Dry, 0 Sour. And feel free to offer your comments on the art direction , the copy, the concept, whatever. Click here to play.

And while we're at it, we might as well give you the opportunity to do something completely partisan: tell us how you're planning to vote on Tuesday, or how you'd vote if you were eligible, for all our readers in other countries. And you must cast this ballot no later than Tuesday — we're shutting this poll down when the real voting booths close up shop. Yeah, we put Nader on this ballot, too — anyone who can forge that many signatures deserves a break, you know? Kidding, Ralph! Click here to vote.

Up the Creek!
Last week's Rate the Ad.It was a somewhat uphill battle, but Redwood Creek prevails, with a respectable 55/45 Good/Bad ratio — comparing the top half of the Sweet Meter to the bottom half — and a more than respectable 37% in the Sweet Zone. We got a split opinion, as we so often do, re the concept. Plenty of people love the retro illustration, though many aren't sure about its application to a wine ad. Fewer love the cigarette-parody copy, which, again, may have fared better for another product. Anyway, here are the results.

5 Very Sweet 19%
4 Sweet 18%
3 Semi-Dry 18%
2 Dry 17%
1 Extra Dry 20%
0 Sour 8%

And here are some of our fave responses.

1 I'm not taking this ride. The combo of ski lodge illustration and old-school slice-of-lifeness in the tone irks me.

1 Are they insinuating that the adventure is getting on a ancient tram and living to tell about it? Doesn't seem worth a bottle of wine to me.

2 If there's some hot, sweaty, drunken lovin' going on in the gondola, make it more obvious.

5 Gorgeous art direction, but I've been staring at it for hours trying unsuccessfully to find the subliminal boobs.

4 Sweet, but why does it make me want a cigarette?

4 This swanky retro ad would entice me to lick the side of a redwood tree. Refreshing.

3 I like the illustration, but I'm having trouble connecting it to wine. It feels more like a whiskey image.

1 I like the illustration, but it doesn't seem to fit the product. It screams microbrew.

0 If I were Davy Crockett or Grizzly Adams, this ad would make me run right out to my local liquor store. I had no idea lumberjacks made wine.

5 The genuflection to fruit crate art and the posters of the WPA immediately imparts a sense that this isn't just another arriviste — which it in fact might well be, but it still gets my vote.

1 What is so exciting about a gondola ride? This ad makes no sense to me.

5 Beautifully authentic art direction and copy.

1 I'm confused. Aren't gondolas long, narrow and floating, and steered by singing Italian men?

0 Does the wine taste like wood?

2 A middle-of-the-road effort at campiness doesn't carry me anywhere. The visual is compelling, but the copy falls flat.

5 What a cool and unexpected way to advertise wine. I wish I had done this ad.

5 I like the vintage poster look. And the gondolas remind me a little of the Wonkavator.

5 I'm knocked out by the way it recalls the great transportation poster art of the early decades of the 20th century. On the other hand, it doesn't give me any "lipsmacking" reason to drink the wine. Yet I love it.

2 Have I missed something? Is "riding the gondola" some new term for the Mile High Club?

0 The "golden age of advertising" art direction seems to work only for Campari and vermouth; let's keep it that way.

5 I'm a drunk and I know my wine advertising. This ad makes me want to get shitfaced.

4 Who cares if this ad is for wine, cheese or tourism — it evokes a positive response and reminds us of better days with its friendly vintage execution.