Posts Tagged ‘Whitman’

The final push

October 25, 2010

We’re entering that time when campaigns make that final push to the finish line.  One week left, what message do you want to leave with voters before they head into the voting booth (do folks still vote in booths).  Something positive about you? A vision for the future? The cost of electing the other guy?  In races where the margins are too large to make up, do you try to push your name id for the next campaign? These are tough choices to make, as the field of possibilities narrows to one last message, one last opportunity to make your case.

Meg Whitman goes with the honesty approach, a one minute plea, that is part humble admission that folks might not like here, part bio, part political platitude, part vision statement.  I have to say I find this ad compelling, in the same way (even as a Democrat) I’ve found Whitman compelling.  There’s an iconic part of her story, the family moving west, making her fortune at ebay, that speaks to me, and makes me like her.  I like the admission at the open that voters see this election as an unhappy choice, I appreciate her naming that elephant in the room, and trying to turn it around.  While I find the middle  section not as compelling (I’m not a politician), overall I like this ad, it is a simple expression of her and her candidacy.

Compare that with Harry Reid’s last message to voters, which I find kind of all over the place.  This ad feels like it’s trying to do too much.  Where the Whitman ad is all about an emotional appeal, this ad feels like its trying to get voters to vote in their own self interest, which frankly rarely works.  In some ways it’s a fitting end to the Reid campaign which has always been about brute force and attrition tactics. There’s nothing subtle about this ad, but I don’t know if there’s anything exceptional about it either.  At the end of the day, it leaves me cold, neither likely Angle any less nor liking Reid any more.

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Like a duck

October 19, 2010

This is the kind of simple ad, that really take a lot of work.  What a pain it must have been to find all those clips and match them up. The visual execution is not groundbreaking, but it’s good enough and doesn’t step on the message.

This ad is like a duck, on the surface it’s calm and seems to be barely straining, underneath, it’s paddling like crazy.  On the surface this ad is devastatingly effective because it is tying to Whitman to Schwarzenegger, who is not particularly popular in California.

Under the surface lies the real punch in this ad.  The repetition of the language points to the common cliches politicians use.  Hearing her words echoing Schwarzenegger’s makes them all the more meaningless, they’re just platitudes with no real meaning, no real value. At end of the ad, with the San Jose Mercury line splashed across the screen, “She utterly lacks the qualifications to be governor,” there’s a real feeling that Whitman is just an empty suit with nothing real to say.


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