22 Mar 2007

Author of 1984 Anti-Hillary Ad Discovered… And Sacked!

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The creator of the amusing anti-Hillary advertisement based on the 1984 Apple Superbowl Commercial has been identified as Philip de Vellis, an employee of Blue State Digital, an District of Columbia Internet consultancy founded by former Howard Dean campaign staffers and catering to democrats.

Blue State is working for the Obama Campaign, but Mr. de Vellis has been reported to have created the advertisement on his own initiative, and was promptly fired.

Thomas Gensemer, Managing Director of Blue State, has a
statement on the corporate web site:

This afternoon, an employee at our firm, Phillip de Vellis, received a call from Arianna Huffington of “The Huffington Post” regarding the “1984” video currently circulating online. Initially, de Vellis refused to respond to her requests. He has since acknowledged to Blue State Digital that he was the creator of the video.

Pursuant to company policy regarding outside political work or commentary on behalf of our clients or otherwise, Mr. de Vellis has been terminated from Blue State Digital effective immediately.

Blue State Digital is under contract with the Obama Campaign for technology pursuits including software development and hosting. Additionally, one of our founding partners is on leave from the company to work directly for the campaign at headquarters.

However, Blue State Digital is not currently engaged in any relationship with the Obama Campaign for creative or non-technical services.

Mr. de Vellis created this video on his own time. It was done without the knowledge of management, and was in no way tied to his work at the firm or our formal engagement [on technology pursuits] with the Obama campaign…

We wish Mr. de Vellis well in his future endeavors.

It turns out that the poor fellow was ratted out by none other than Ariana Huffington.

And Phil de Vellis says:

Hi. I’m Phil. I did it. And I’m proud of it.

I made the “Vote Different” ad because I wanted to express my feelings about the Democratic primary, and because I wanted to show that an individual citizen can affect the process. There are thousands of other people who could have made this ad, and I guarantee that more ads like it–by people of all political persuasions–will follow.

This shows that the future of American politics rests in the hands of ordinary citizens.

The campaigns had no idea who made it–not the Obama campaign, not the Clinton campaign, nor any other campaign. I made the ad on a Sunday afternoon in my apartment using my personal equipment (a Mac and some software), uploaded it to YouTube, and sent links around to blogs.

Keep up the good work, Mr. de Vellis, is all I have to say.

2 Feedbacks on "Author of 1984 Anti-Hillary Ad Discovered… And Sacked!"


He shouldn’t have been fired! De Vellis explored his creativity and expressed his freedom of speech at the same time. I didn’t see anything wrong with the Hillary 1984 video. In fact, it was kind of clever!. For me, he deserves more commendation than condemnation.

Danny J Norman

As I proposed before, in a couple years, campaigning could be left to bloggers alone. The blogosphere almost pushed the Dean candidacy into the running in 2004, could it eventually be the entire emphasis behind a campaign.

What is frightening is that with technology growing like it is, you could have a Philip de Vellis creating a lifelike video of a candidate that is entirely fabricated.


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