Obama Had Hollywood Help on Infomercial

Guggenheim Pitched In on Portions

By Published on .

WASHINGTON (AdAge.com) -- Barack Obama's half-hour infomercial may have been produced by two leaders of the campaign's ad team of Jim Margolis of ad agency GMMB and Mark Putnam of ad agency Murphy/Putnam, but it had some Hollywood help.

Playing a role in the production was Davis Guggenheim, the Academy Award director and executive producer of Al Gore's "Inconvenient Truth." Mr. Guggenheim is the producer and director of HBO's "Deadwood," as well as director of a number of TV shows. Mr. Guggenheim also helped at the Democratic National Convention, producing some of the films that were shown.

The half-hour Obama ad that aired Wednesday night on CBS, NBC, Fox, Univision and some cable networks at a cost of more than $3.5 million to the campaign included a combination of background on the candidate, comments from Sen. Obama, some live footage from a Florida campaign event and also stories about the struggles of four voters.

While Mr. Margolis and Mr. Putnam put the ad together and laid out its format, Mr. Guggenheim produced the stories of the four voters.

Mr. Guggenheim did not return a call seeking comment.

An Obama campaign source said the ad was designed to answer voters' questions shortly before the election and the biggest challenge was the limited time available to produce it.

"It was not that hard from an advertising perspective to decide what to do. Voters were hungry for a sense of where a candidate would go, and we wanted to give them a clear sense," he said.

"We really believed that the things voters are most anxious for are clear ideas about where to take the country, so there was lots of looking the camera straight in the eye."
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