Posts Tagged ‘Daggett’

It is a scorpion after all.

October 29, 2009

Have you ever heard the story of the scorpion and the frog? The scorpion wants to cross a creek so asks a frog for help.  The frog protests, “You’re a scorpion, you’re going to sting me.” The scorpion replies, “Why would I do that, if I sting you we both die?  If you take me I’ll owe you a favor.”  The frog thinks it over and decides it’s not the worst thing to have scorpion owe him a favor so he tell the scorpion to hop on, and they start making their way across the creek.

About half way across, the scorpion stings the frog.  The frog is clearly shocked and angry at the betrayal can only ask, “Why? Now we’ll both die….” The scorpion says, “What can I say, I am a scorpion after all….”

I couldn’t help thinking of that story watching this ad and feeling vaguely disappointed, then wondering why?  This is the same type of ad that Daggett ran the first time why should I expect something different from his team just because the nature of the race has changed — he received the Star-Ledger endorsement, Christie has fallen like a rock, Daggett has risen in some polls, and the two main party candidates have generally thrown enough mud at each other that voters aren’t particularly excited about the election. Oh, that’s why…, huh.

What’s wrong with the ad in my opinion?  (I may be repeating myself from post about Daggett’s first ad, but what the hell.) Well, again the production values stink.  If you’re going to do something like this do it right, this looks cheap and to voters will feel like a third party candidate ad, not the ad of a real player prepared to pull the upset.

The guy playing Christie is pretty good, but the Corzine look alike is pretty bad.  Every time he says his lines you can see the gears moving in his head, not a good way to describe an actor working.  It would have been better to find someone who looks less like Corzine and is a better actor. And frankly, Daggett isn’t compelling enough either in his interactions with the look-alikes or to camera to make this work.

It’s not all bad, the ad is cute, the “You don’t spend it,” line has some legs to it I think, and could get remembered.  The end message is right where it needs to be, “It’s never wrong to stand up for the right person,” as fears grow that voters will abandon Daggett to vote for a “real” candidate, not some long shot with no chance of winning.

And maybe that’s the thing, this ad does nothing else to make me think Daggett has a chance to win.  It’s not professional enough to give him credibility, it’s not serious enough to make him appear serious, it’s not funny or clever enough to really be memorable, and it just doesn’t feel authentic to who Chris Daggett is, this feels like a costume he put on for Halloween (there’s my requisite Halloween reference)

On top of it all, the spot doesn’t tout his endorsement, which in my mind is a great validator for him, gives him real credibility, the biggest paper in the state thought enough of him to endorse him, why shouldn’t you? Do they think people know about it? That it doesn’t matter or they didn’t want to cut the cutesy intro to the ad to insert a message point of real substance?

Harsh I know.  I was tell a friend that if I lived in Jersey, I don’t know who I would vote for, I want to be compelled by Daggett, but this doesn’t do it.  I guess that’s why I can’t help felling like that damned frog, “Why?…”

Well, we all know the answer.

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Now what?

October 13, 2009

Today’s New Jersey Star Ledger’s endorsement of independent Chris Daggett for Governor reminds me a bit of the end of the movie “The Candidate” (confession: I’ve never seen the whole movie just the end).  After Robert Redford’s challenger unexpectedly wins the election, he turns to his campaign manager and says, “Now what.” (Or something like that, I couldn’t find the clip on Youtube)

With Corzine and Christie continually pounding each other, there is an opening for a candidate like Daggett who has taken serious positions on the issue — especially as a good friend of mine says the issue people want addressed, property taxes.

I took a look at his first (and only ad) in this post, and I made the comment that the silly nature of the ad and the poor production values didn’t present him as a legitimate serious candidate.  Now that he has the endorsement of a (the) major paper in the state, he’s a serious candidate.  How does he present himself in his ads?

You can still do an interesting yet serious ad, it doesn’t have to be the boring ads we’ve seen from Corzine or Christie, but it can’t come off as silly or he risks framing himself as the only the gadfly in the race and not a serious contender.


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