Posts Tagged ‘Governor’

Why

October 8, 2013

A lot of back and forth the Virginia Governor’s race. I’ve ignored most of it because frankly the ads have been eh.

I wanted to write about this ad not because it’s great, but I think it’s missing something important.

What’s it missing?

WHY?

Why is she supporting Cuccinelli?

Why isn’t she supporting MacAulaffe?

And, just because Tichi is a mother and Democrat, why should I listen to her? Frankly, why should I believe her?

Is it enough she’s a mother and democrat? Is it enough that she’s african-american? That’s obviously what Ken Cuccinelli believes.

But it’s not enough to be on message, it’s not enough to make your points, people want to hear a why because we want to understand and connect. There was a study that people were more likely to let someone cut into a line, let’s say to make photocopies, if they only gave a reason (a why), even if the reason was something as obvious as “Can I cut in because I need to make some copies….”

The audience is smarter than you think. Without the why, there’s not credibility. Without the why, the ad is just platitudes. Without the why, it all too easy to ignore the message and the messenger.

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Can you have too much message?

July 16, 2013

This ad just leaves me… I don’t know, kinda flat. The message is right, and it seems like it’s on-message, but I wonder if it’s on-emotion?

I know it looks like an interview, but it sounds like talking points. Is it a case of too much message? Or just the wrong emotional delivery? The story doesn’t feel personal.  

BTW, the McAuliffe campaign is up with this minute long ad:

It’s better, though I’m a little confused by the details. Still I think it works better than the social security ad, especially at the end. I think it’s a smart play to make Cuchinelli appear untrustworthy rather than going after him for being extreme or otherwise too partisan. 

 

How does David beat Goliath?

May 23, 2013

Barbara Buono has an uphill battle, convincing New Jersey voters that popular Governor Chris Christie hasn’t done as good a job as people think. While Christie’s been up for a while Buono is spening $1m in the New York market (which isn’t that much in that market) with this ad.

The ad is professional, but it’s really not compelling. It picks up a little steam when :20 in when they show the picture of her dad with the sausage, but they don’t have the time or inclination to dwell there, rather they throw out hackneyed platitudes about pulling yourself up.

Here’s the thing … you’re trying to convince people of something they don’t believe, fine that’s the purpose of advertising –if people agreed with you, would you need to advertise? But when you’re facing Goliath, David is foolish to fight toe to toe. I sometimes talk about attrition warfare here, and that’s the strategy Buono is taking.

I’m getting a litte far afield from the ad istelf, but if the goal if this ad is to convince people that Christie has done a bad job, why would it? It’s a political he said/she said, Christie starts with the high ground, he has more resources, and Buono is charging her army in a frontal assualt.

What should she do? Maneuver, don’t fight him straight on, fight asymmetrically, hit Christie on an issue they don’t see coming or one that goes to the heart of his credibility. Throwing three charges against him is akin to saying nothing, it becomes political blah, blah, blah.   Maybe that issue doesn’t exist, then find something that people can hook into, something that resonates, something that’s emotional not rational (and especially not rational when people already disagree with you).

An ad like this works only if you have favorable terrain and equal or better resources.

It’s a safe ad, but when you’re fighting Goliath, playing it safe only plays to his game not yours.

There’s such a fine line between stupid and clever Part II

September 11, 2009

Ok, I’m repeating myself, I know, but I can’t decide which side of the line this goes on:

On one hand, I appreciate trying a different ad, and I’ve talked about the power of metaphor before. This one is pretty good on those fronts.

On the other hand, it’s kinda goofy, and the production values are not great. Why does that matter? Well, people react to all sorts of things, often without knowing what they’re reacting too.

I think the production values of an ad matter in so far as they present the quality and character of a campaign. A cheap looking ad may work if it’s part of the charm (like this classic ad from Paul Wellstone — done by the same consultant as the Daggett ad) or message of the campaign.

A challenger’s ads that look crisp and great say that candidate is ready for the big leagues. (On the other hand, I always felt the Gore for President ads looked too nice and polished — for a guy with a truth problem, whether deserved or not, I thought the ads needed to look grittier and more real.) The form of the ad, has to follow the function.

Here I’m not sure the form is helping Daggett. He needs to make people think he’s a real candidate with a real chance, this feels a more like a college film school project than a real production. No matter what the message is, that can’t help Daggett or his campaign.


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