Two Spoof Ads For The Campaign Do Not A Trailer Make.

The latest offering from comedians du jour Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis reaches back to a tried and true trope — one that regains its relevance, oh, every four years or so. Indeed, The Campaign finds the favored funnymen sending up the American political system — or more accurately, our electoral process — as rival political candidates campaigning for office in North Carolina. In one corner, there's Ferrell's school-loving Cam Brady. In the other, there's Galifianakis' clean-up-the-mess-in-Washington clone Marty Huggins. And on YouTube this week, there's a video that combines mock political ads for each candidate into one pseudo-trailer for the film.

Technically, though, the clip (posted at the end of this piece) is more of a teaser than a trailer; there's no green-screen opening, no title card bearing the film's name, no listing of stars. That, of course, is the idea: In its initial promotions for the film, Warner Bros. has chosen a more viral route, perhaps relying on each of the film's stars' own historical successes in the medium of online videos. No surprise, then, that the clip seems more like a Funny or Die offering than a full-on film preview.

As such, the clip ultimately falls somewhat flat as trailers go. There's little here to imply that the film will offer much more depth than these mock political ads do. By the same token, the clips seem somewhat complete on their own; they're fully realized artistic offerings that stand on their own legs and not as previews for some coming-soon entity. In other words: Entertaining as these faux-litical ads may be on their own, they don't do much to push the film they're no doubt intended to support. Which is unfortunate. But, hey, the film's still got Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis. And people really like those guys. Trailer Grade: C+.

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