Posts Tagged ‘nevada’

A couple of quickies

June 22, 2011

Content is slow these days, so maybe I shouldn’t be breaking these reviews out, but I didn’t have much to say about either of them, but I did want to say something about them.

First from Nevada:

I find this ad incomprehensible. I get the connection they’re trying to make, but it’s either too subtle to too obtusely executed, that I’m confused. Then to top it off the candidate makes an appearance at the end, spouting political speak about raising “Obama’s debt limit” and ending the nightmare. This concept was much better executed (on a bigger budget) in the “Chinese Professor spot,” which I reviewed last year. That spot makes the threat seem real, this spot makes it seem, I don’t know…, but there’s no urgency, so it makes the candidate appear like a wingnut saying he’s going to end a nightmare that seems comical rather than imminent.

A friend sent me this video from Jon Huntsman the great sane hope or something like that. It was weird watching it, boring in parts, sublime in other sections, subtle in concept, but strangely heavy handed in execution — I love the section that starts “dropped out of high school to travel with his band Wizard…” as Boris would say, “Guys, this is movie.”

But for the most part, it felt both like it was trying too hard to make their points. Take the Wizard section. They could have given the viewed the information, “dropped out of high school…blah, blah, blah” and left the viewer to fill in the conclusion this guy is not your ordinary politician, instead they feel compelled to tell you that in the narration, in case you missed it. It’s like they don’t trust this unique concept which is something like a visual haiku nor do they trust the viewer.

And the whole America from 10,000 miles thing, I just didn’t get it? What does it mean?  I did also like the backhanded  shots they took a their opponents.  Still, I found this video perplexing but a good lesson. And maybe thats’s the lesson of the first video as well. You have to trust your concept, I know I make this point often, but it’s clear in these videos they didn’t. They liked the concepts, but didn’t completely trust them to get the job done, so they embellished the message just so everyone got it, but in doing so they undermine the strength of the concept, it becomes neither fish nor fowl as my mom liked to say.

As I wrote to my friend somewhere in this Huntsman video there’s a brilliant concept busting to get out.


Dueling ads in… Nevada

March 31, 2010

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.

More dueling ads in Arkansas

March 24, 2010

Long delay from blogging, sorry and thanks for sticking around.  Travel and real work keeping me from writing, but it’s time to focus now.  Bunch of health care ads coming up trying to frame the post debate debate.  I’ll try to look at those tomorrow.  In the meantime, back to Arkansas:

This is a beautiful ad.  I love the shots from the house to the silhouettes, to the details, to the shots of Lincoln in the committee room, really tight work.  The shots are so evocative, but I find them fighting with the script. The script is really a meat and potatoes script about being a committee chairperson and the power that brings to Arkansas.  I’ve never been sure if that line of reasoning (your incumbent has a lot of power) works.  It probably polls well, but I wonder if it’s too rational an argument to make. It almost feels like a bribe to me.  

In any case, while I’m not sure the imagery works with the transactional message, it’s a whole lot better than this Harry Reid ad which makes a similar argument to Nevada voters:

Compared to this Reid ad, the Lincoln ad feels like a ball of emotion.  The Reid ad is your standard political “good enough” ad, but it does nothing to connect.  Lincoln at least tries to connect by using the surrogate of the farmer to talk about her power, she tried to make it personal.  If you’re going to make an ad along the lines of the powerful incumbent, the Lincoln ad is about as good as you can get.

Two ads from primary challenger Bill Halter:

I just don’t get the coach ad.  It feels hokey and not serious enough to make Halter serious, but not really funny enough to be amusing.  

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