Posts Tagged ‘who’s your audience’

Battleground Massachusetts

November 10, 2011

Came across this ad running against Elizabeth Warren in Massachusetts by Crossroads GPS, and while I’m not sure I have a lot to say about it, I wanted to comment on it anyway.

Execution wise, there is nothing particularly interesting about the ad.  What attracted me to it was the message.

Step 1: State the problem — no jobs, ok, I’m with you so far…

Step 2: Attack Elizabeth Warren for not focusing on jobs…, and siding with Occupy Wall Street.

Maybe they have some polling that shows this to be a good strategy.  I’ve said before Massachusetts is more blue collar Democrat than lefty liberal Democrat. But I see reveal problems with the approach:

First Warren isn’t even in elected office, so hitting her on jobs seems problematic at best, and at worse, it raises the issue for Senator Scott Brown, who has just voted against fairly popular job’s bill.

Second, the shots of Occupy Wall Street are so fast, you really don’t see the “drug use” and the attacking police shot, looks like police are attacking the protestors (on top of the stories of police abuse of protestors that have become youtube hits). Again it looks like you’re undermining your own cause there.

Third, the heavy handed language feels like something out of the 60’s not the 10’s. “We need jobs, not intellectual theories and radical protests,” wow, hell I would even agree with that, but what the heck does it mean?  Put another way, who is this add aimed at? To my ear it’s aimed at Tea Party members trying to shore up the base, but I wonder would they ever vote for Warren.

So if the ad is more likely aimed at middle class/blue collar independents, who typically vote Democrat, but swung to Brown last election, then I think it’s mis-calibrated. The language is too harsh and steeped in conservative lexicon (intellectual theories, radical protests, extreme left protests), it’s like their so inside their own bubble, they can’t put themselves inside some else’s head.

I may be wrong, but I think most independents see Occupy Wall Street somewhat favorably, even if they’re unsure about them. This ad leaves no place for them to go, pushing the extreme liberal angle so hard, that I can’t help but feel like folks would reject it out of hand.

If this is the attack they want to make, I think a softer touch would be more effective:  Link Warren to Occupy Wall Street and hint at their extreme nature (maybe mention the name with visuals of the protestors acting up), and let folks fill in the blank.  Maybe the best description of this ad is tone deaf. If this is how Crossroads GPS is going to spend it’s mountain of cash this election season, Democrats can breath a sigh of relief.

[Post-Script] The other problem with this ad it’s way to easy to deflect the attack. In this case, done particularly eloquently by David Donnelly, the director of the watchdog group Campaign Money Watch, “This is an ad by the one percent, for the one percent.”

Also worth a read is Greg Sargent’s post which debunks the truthfulness of the ad and specifically the Schoen Poll cited in the ad.

 

 

 

 

 

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