08/05/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

MoveOn Launches Obama Ad For MTV And Comedy Central

MoveOn.org has launched a new pro-Obama ad targeting young voters that will air on MTV and Comedy Central.

The ad is the first campaign advertising to run nationally on Comedy Central. Tony Fox, a spokesman for the network, told the New York Times "he did not know why the cable channel had not accepted political advocacy advertising before, but said of the decision to do so now: 'Political advertising in an election year is good business.'"

He also said that this particular spot, produced by members of MoveOn.org Political Action, the liberal action group, was humorous and would be a good fit with Comedy Central's young, politically sophisticated audience. It is entitled "It Could Happen to You" and features Rider Strong, the former star of "Boy Meets World," and Amber Benson of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer."

MoveOn will spend $150,000 to run it for one week on Comedy Central and MTV, which had not accepted political advertising for more than a decade but reversed that policy a month ago. Both MTV and Comedy Central are owned by Viacom Networks, which has generally weathered the current advertising downturn better than some of its competitors.

Here's the ad:

More from MoveOn's press release:

"It Could Happen To You" was the winner for "funniest video" in MoveOn's recent "Obama in 30 Seconds" ad contest. The ad was produced by and features Rider Strong, former star of "Boy Meets World." Also in the ad is Amber Benson, best known as Tara Maclay on "Buffy the Vampire Slayer."

MoveOn's ad is in part a response to the airing of an anti-Obama ad from a conservative group last week, also on MTV.

"Young people are naturally progressive, tech-savvy, and hopeful people, so it's no wonder they are becoming MoveOn members" said Peter Koechley, a former editor of the Onion and co-director of MoveOn's youth outreach efforts. "In the next 99 days, MoveOn.org is going to spend a whole lot of time and money making sure that the trend we saw in the primaries of doubling and tripling turnout among young voters continues into November for Barack Obama."

MoveOn.org has almost a million members under 35 and aims to add another 500,000 through the course of this election. MoveOn's young voter outreach efforts include:

-- Developing a new model for online advertising focusing on persuasion. With TV capturing dwindling numbers of young people, MoveOn is committed to advertising where young people are: on Facebook, MySpace and other sites popular with young people on the internet as well as through search ads.

-- Developing a new suite of online political tools to continue to lead the way in on-line organizing.

-- Developing a new social network canvassing GOTV model. Young people are harder to target using traditional methods of knocking on doors, making phone calls, and sending mail. MoveOn will leverage online social networks to turnout young voters. We're building online tools to allow our members to register and then turnout out their friends and peers (for example, www.votepoke.org).

Here's the conservative ad that's already running on MTV: