Posts Tagged ‘Best of 2010’

Which one of these is not like the others…

October 21, 2010

Long week for me as we head into the end stretch, but there were some interesting or instructive ads that I wanted to point to. Each one could have it’s own post, but don’t have the time for that, so I’ll give you the ad infinitum version.

Wow. Great production values, I wonder how much they spent on this ad?  Good ad, tells a story, is unexpected and clever, love the iPadish display of Wall St.  Makes me almost believe what they’re saying.  Funny how much more powerful a story can be than straight facts. Also I appreciate that they stuck with the concept and subtitled the ad rather than doing it in english.  Top stuff here.

A really clever execution, following one woman through her life and how Sharron Angle would effect her. Great graphic design behind the woman.  Wonderful ad.

This ad is a gimmick, and serves as a great contrast to the two earlier ads. While the others have a concept that accentuates the message, the opera frame in this ad basically goes… nowhere.  It’s like two ads in one, yes you get the nice pay off at the with the face the music line, but really, it feels like a lot of sound and fury signifying… not much. If they really followed the concept, the singer would have sung an aria about Fiorina, that would have been awesome and also appropriate — the tragedy of HP.

Angle takes a new angle

October 20, 2010

[Update: The ad has been removed from youtube by a copyright claim. Here’s a link to view it. ]

Two ads from Sharon Angle, this time though instead of fighting it out on Reid’s record, they go for the emotional jugular that Reid is out of touch.  I really like this ad, I think it’s well done. I do wonder who this woman is, guiding us through Reid’s out of touchness, but that aside, I like its snarky tone, it’s not over the top, doesn’t overplay the attack, but still strikes home the message that Reid is out touch, in an interesting way.

In fact, I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a political ad like this one.  It uses a spokeperson, not the candidate or a real person, I find the spokesperson likable which helps as well.

The strength of this ad is that it powerfully reframes the race as a contest between Harry Reid and “you” rather than a choice between Reid and Angle.  In some ways, that’s what she’s been trying to do the entire race, but hammering away with issues, she was making a rational case. The subtext of this ad is much more emotional and visceral, it could have easily slipped into the petty, but it toes the line.

Great ad.  One of my favorite of the year.

The other Angle ad tried to accomplish the same goal, it’s pretty good, but has neither the charm nor the innovation of the first. If this was the only ad Angle was running on this issue, I would say it was effective, but not necessarily a game changer.

A tale of two negative ads

October 14, 2010

I love the design of this ad.  It’s really well executed, down to the thought bubbles on Mark Schauer and China.  The issues in this ad are packaged well, so it’s not the specifics that hit home, but rather the thought “What were you thinking….” That’s a smart attack and the execution helps drive it home. Too often we get caught up in trying to hit each issue point rather than the message or conclusion the issues are supposed to be driving home. We forgot about winning the war, and focus on the battle.  This ad is one of my favorites this year.

Compare it to this ad against Sharon Angle from Harry Reid. It feels like a bunch of individual items thrown together into an ad. There’s no design, no frame except at the end of the ad.  Unlike the NRCC in the ad above Reid actually has issues to hit Angle on, but the result of the attack is less than the sum of their parts because it feels like their is no coordination — between the issues themselves, nor between the voice and the visuals or the design.

Which of these ads is more effective? Well, you run enough money behind the Reid ad, and it’ll get through, eventually. But the Reid ad is exactly why people hate political ads. It’s hitting them over the head because it has to, it’s attrition warfare defined.  The NRCC ad is clever, it engages, it frames, it breaks through much easier in my opinion, it sticks, it an example of maneuver warfare.

Given the choice, it’s better to go around your enemy than through them.


September 10, 2010

There are certain guildlines I try to think about in ad making:

Storytelling. Emotion over logic. Show don’t tell.

Well, this ad has them all.  I showed it to my partner, afterwards his face was red and he was teary eyed, I had a similar reaction, that’s from two jaded political ad professionals.

Great ad. I could talk about the execution or whatever, but in an ad like this, all that doesn’t matter. All that matters, is that its an amazing story, that says something critical about the candidate’s character, and it does so in an emotionally compelling way.

They say positive ads don’t move numbers, well if any positive could move numbers it’s this one.  Might be the best ad I’ve seen this year.

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