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Thursday, January 17, 2008

About Those 30 Second Spots

Living in a swing state my whole life, I've developed somewhat of a taste for political ads. Most are dreadful, but my loathing of awful ads has only heightened my appreciation of good ads.

This single ad from Republican Congressman Duncan Hunter (He's running for president- Who knew?) explains why no one could ever take his campaign seriously.

That ad was aful for a few reasons. The cheap production values practically scream "not a serious candidate." The fact that the whole thing looks like a mix between a parody of a political ad and a late night spot for your local furniture warehouse (off I-95! Everything Must Go!) doesn't help his cause either. I mean, when was the last time you saw a serious presidential candidate run an ad with a freaking 1-888 number? And was it just me, or did that voiceover guy sound sarcastic?

And what about that stock footage at the end of the ad? Hunter is clearly about 10 years younger in that clip than today. I guess he thinks he looks better without gray hair and wrinkes. You tell me.

But beyond that, why the hell Hunter thinks that grandstanding about the Mount Soledad Cross is a good basis for a presidential campaign is beyond me. The script for the ad reads like a silly parody of right wingers. Liberal judges trying to get rid of crosses?

Here's another of my Hunter favorites.

The best part about this one is at the end, when we learn that not only did Duncan Hunter approve of "this message," but he wrote it too! How impressive! How authentic! I can't imagine why no one takes this man seriously!

For contrast, take a look at this ad from Al Franken that's been getting some good press on the intertubes recently.

I liked it, and not just cause I'm a big fan of Al Franken. It was an effective biography ad, but it also obviously sought to improve his mid western street cred. He was born and raised in MN, but he became successful as a Big City writer and comedian, and now he's coming home to run for senate. It was a little tongue in cheek without going over the heads of older voters.

Al Franken, unsuprisingly, makes good ads.
Duncan Hunter, unsuprisingly, makes stupid ads.

If you aren't competent enough to produce a good ad, why should anyone think you're competent enough for elected office?

Click "There's more..." for my full analysis and another one of his brilliant ads.