Madonna makes a provocative ad for voting

October 18, 1990|By Los Angeles Times

HOLLYWOOD -- Leave it to Madonna.

Who else could transform the simple act of voting into a provocative display of sexual innuendo?

Monday night, MTV will debut the pop siren's latest video clip: a 60-second, rap-oriented public service advertisement in which she encourages her fans to express themselves at the voting booth:

Dr. King, Malcom X

Freedom of speech

Is as good as sex.

Madonna delivers the rhyme wearing red bikini underwear with an American flag curled around her shoulders. She ends the clip with the teasing quip, "If you don't vote, you're going to get a spankie."

Madonna's TV spot is the latest in a series of pro-voting ads designed to motivate pop fans -- especially the 18-to-24 age group -- to become active in the political process. Other pop artists who have made clips include Iggy Pop, M.C. Hammer, Ozzy Osbourne, Mellow Man Ace, Megadeth, Donny Osmond, Lita Ford, Lenny Kravitz and Los Lobos' Louis Perez.

MTV will show all the spots in a half-hour "Rock the Vote" special beginning after the Madonna ad.

The ads, which run about twice an hour on MTV, were commissioned by "Rock the Vote," a non-profit, non-partisan recording industry coalition made up of some of the most powerful figures in the music business -- including the presidents of Warner Bros., Capitol, Geffen, MCA, A&M, Virgin and Giant Records.

MTV vice president and creative director Judy McGrath maintains that her network -- which debuted the public service campaign at the MTV Video Awards Show Sept. 6 -- has already donated more than $1 million in air time to the project.

Last week, a Rappers for Voter Registration rally was staged in New York featuring De La Soul, A Tribe Called Quest and Chill Rob G. Voter registration booths were also set up at "The Gathering of the Tribes" benefit, the heavy-metal Foundations Forum convention and a recent "Rock the Vote" California campus concert tour that ended last week at the University of California, Los Angeles, yielding more than 10,000 new voters.

Additionally, a new collection of pro-voting clips featuring country artists such as Randy Travis, Tammy Wynette, Reba McEntire, Patty Loveless and Brenda Lee is also expected to begin airing on VH-1 within the next few weeks.

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