You can tell a lot about a company by how they advertise, and to whom. For instance, it’s no mistake that American Apparel, the go-to hipster uniform if there is one, spends much of its ad bucks on full pages in trendy downtown magazines like Vice and Blackbook. In the same vein, you have to expect beer commercials during NFL games.

In many ways, political parties are like companies unto themselves, and not just because they accept millions on corporate donations each year. Political parties also advertise a lot, especially during election season.

Now that the midterms are just behind us, let’s take a look at some of the important leaders Democrats put forth in order to advertise their case to the African American community:

  • Tatyana Ali
  • Keshia Knight Pulliam
  • Russell Simmons
  • Common

The special guest list at MTV Spring Break 2011? Hardly. Those are people who were put forth to black media outlets on Democratic National Committee-sponsored phone calls, calls designed to galvanize African American voters and put Democratic candidates over the top. Ostensibly, the idea was that ginning up votes from the blacks is as easy as having rappers and actresses tell them voting's cool.

And we’re shocked when only 10 percent of African Americans get to the polls on Election Day? Maybe try talking to them like adults next time.

-Cord Jefferson is a staff writer at The Root. Follow him on Twitter.