Dueling ads in… Nevada

I like these dueling ad posts.  As campaign season gets into full gear, there might be more of these to come.

Moving from Arkansas to Nevada, where there’s a Republican primary to see who will replace, err,… I mean who will go up against Harry Reid in the fall.  We’ll go bio a bio:

First up is Sue Lowden who’s way up in the polls:

I find her likable enough, though a little phony — it is just me?  Not sure what the swishes are doing in there, it’s one of those elements you put into an ad because you can, but I’m not sure it’s helping with the message, also I think they’re distracting me.

There’s a film school adage, if you see the boom mic in the shot, it doesn’t matter.  What that means, is if people are noticing things like the boom mic coming ever so slightly into the shot, it means they’re bored and they’re not connected with what’s happening on screen.  That’s what’s happening here, the spot is alright, I like the opening archival shots, it’s evocative — the immigrant story of coming to America to follow your dreams, that’s good stuff (ironic isn’t it how the story of immigrant is so powerful in retrospect, given the current state of immigration reform).

I just can’t quite connect with her, the smile feels forced or something.  Also, I’m not from Nevada, but the backdrop of that room looks pretty plush. A good backdrop for a political spot is something that’s both unique and generic at the same time.  Something that isn’t too nice, this feels a little too nice to me.

Here’s is her opponent’s spot:

I really like the effect they use pulling out the photos from background.  It ads something interesting for my eye.  Also I like the archival stuff of him, for whatever reason, images like that are always powerful to me, maybe because they feel so real.

I torn about the understated CG’s for the bio section.  I like them, they’re simple and clean, but are they adding anything by simply repeating what we’re hearing?  Why couldn’t they add some piece of new information?  It’s a constant struggle with CG’s in a political ad, what is they’re purpose?  On one hand people think they should reinforce the voice over, like a powerpoint slide or something.  I think they should reinforce the feeling you’re going for, what if they used words or ideas that weren’t already in the voice track, what if those powerful words like values or family where replaced in the track, but left that for the CG’s to describe, that could be a power reinforcing of the theme and feeling of the ad.

I leave this ad feeling like I don’t really know this guy.  Here’s what I remember, he grew up in rural Nevada and was a businessman, he has a family… There’s nothing that grabs me or my emotions, and it doesn’t make me necessarily curious to find out more.

Sue’s ad, I remember she was a business person, her job is your job or something like that, she had some event with a mayor where she stood up to the guy or something, I’d like to know more about that.

In general both these spots are good enough, have some interesting elements, but are a little generic and don’t grab me.  That’s especially important for Chachas ’cause he’s at like 1% in the polls.  It’ll be tough at this point no matter how much he spends to get traction unless his ads stick out a little more.

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