Posts Tagged ‘indiana’

The no rap, rap.

August 15, 2012

Back in college, there was a lot of talk about your “rap.” Which meant, the lines you used to pick up women, or at the very least, what you said to a woman when you started talking to her. There was always discussion and envy of the guy with the smooth rap, who always seemed so confident and sure of what to say, and who always seemed to get the girl in the end.

Then there’s this… the rap with no rap:

The phrase came up one night as my friends and I discussed our “raps.” I think I said something to the extent that I had no rap and therefore was at a disadvantage, another friend who knew me too well, countered that my rap was the no rap, rap.

Other than the “guy with two first name” I thought this ad was interesting (interesting as opposed to effective, which I’m not sure about). It’s not a bio or any other specifically message driven on it’s surface. But it’s subtext (like many ads) is really where the meat is.

This ad is the political equivalent of the no-rap rap. I hate political ads, so I’m going to talk about my seemingly random friends. But what Gregg is talking about is a way of life, a way of thinking, and his connection to it. I would guess he’s betting a lot of Indianians know guys like Hobo and his friends, and somehow, being a kind of regular guy is an advantage against his opponent former Washington, DC Congressman Mike Pence.

Political ads today are almost always about the smooth rap — the focus on message over everything else. Sometimes that smooth rap is effective, usually when it’s authentic, something it’s just aired with such repetition that it becomes true, and often it’s just a bloodbath with two candidates fighting it out with their smooth raps to see which one voters like the best.

An ad like this stands out, whether it stands out for the right reasons or not, I’m not sure, but it’s interesting… or maybe it’s just my appreciation for the rap with no rap.

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I love the smell of desperation in the morning….

April 6, 2012

Sometimes it’s hard to write about bad ads, sometimes it just makes me angry ,or makes me feel like I’m repeating myself. But sometimes an ad is so bad and cliche, well it just tickles me:

In what has got to be seen as one of the worst campaigns of the year so far, Dick Lugar comes up with one of hte most cliche and desperate ads of the year. Lugar you may know has taken heat for basically living in DC for 36 years while representing the state of Indiana.That probably wouldn’t be so bad, but it only reinforces a growing image among conservatives and votrs in general that Lugar is out of touch. So in this context a little political aikido would be perfect.

This ad feels less like Aikido and more like… Inspector Clouseau. First off all, I was confused, “Washington Outside Groups”? It’s a strange turn of phrase, usually we’re worried about inside groups, what they mean is groups from Washington, outside of Indiana, but the phrase is awkard enough that it wasn’t clear to me at first.

The next point that struck me as odd was the attack itself. Murdock is saying he’s going to get national money, I guess if you’re Dick Lugar and people think you’re not in touch with the state that might be an issue, but I wonder if it’s too inside baseball for most voters to really care. Inside baseball is a term we use from time to time, it means, focusing on the internal politics of a situation, how you make the sausage — the kind of stuff that political junkies love. But most voters really don’t care about inside politics, it feels, well, too political to them. They can be made to care if the inside baseball attack somehow resonates back to the story they already believe.

Finally let’s talk about cliche. The music the voice over are so over the top, it really feels like the “Mickey Mouse” politics it talks about in the ad. Cliche can be useful, but in this case it just weighs the ad down. It’s so overtly negative that it leaves the viewer no place to go, no room to put themselves into the ad emotionally.

So let’s see we got awkward phrasing of an inside baseball attack that presented in a very cliche execution… what’s that leave us with? Desperation. I read a study that said most casualties in combat don’t happen during the combat itself, but during the retreat. One side starts to retreat, and suddenly the retreat turns into a route. Desperation is a bit like that. This ad wants to present strength, but really it only represent’s Lugar’s weakness.


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