Tuesday, November 07, 2006
Election Day! (Which Means It's Finally Over)
A quick note to everyone who stopped by for a little snarky advertising critique.
If you're in the business, get off your butt and make some better ads next time.
If you aren't in the business, you had to deal with some rough advertising this year.
Either way, thanks for dropping by and spending a little time with our fun and vocal community. We'll be back for the off year elections and the beginnings of the presidential push. This ought to be fun.
Now get out there and vote.
Monday, November 06, 2006
Mike Bouchard Gets Some Good Advice
Bringing back his daughter (from one of the most popular spots in the campaign), Mike Bouchard sums it all up in this closer from Scott Howell & Co.
Things have been ugly this cycle, nice to see someone finish with a smile.
Protect Marriage Arizona Did Their Own Commercial
Just because you can make a TV commercial in iMovie doesn't mean you should. Protect Marriage Arizona has thrown everything but the kitchen sink (including an endorsement from Sen. McCain) into this spot and then just left it there.
The shots are trite, the effects just horrible and the message seems a bit less than focused.
At least it's almost election day.
Saturday, November 04, 2006
John Eichelberger Looks Like The Big Time
State Senate race advertising is usually a competition with the local car dealership to see who can produce the most annoying commercial.
John Eichelberger has changed that. It's hard to see what the production values look like, but the message is strong, concepts are good, the edits tight and the guy's not bad on camera. Not bad at all.
Hope he wins. Check out his GOTV closer spot.
Friday, November 03, 2006
Thursday, November 02, 2006
Vote Vets Makes My Head Hurt
In their latest spot, VoteVets.org is saying that we are less safe and have more terrorism because we're in Iraq. Which is just the exact opposite of the Republican message.
The way it's presented -- in a simple, evidence-free format -- has the same effect you got in the 5th grade when you said, "I know you are, but what am I?"
View "Because of Iraq."
Tuesday, October 31, 2006
Bill Ritter Hits The Cute Overload
Cuteness is a dangerous weapon. Used sparingly it can be devastating, but it's tempting to go too far.
We'll give Laugens Hamburger an "A" for trying to do something different, but this one didn't quite get there. And the wrap-up line of "Next year, I'm gonna be GOVERNOR Bill Ritter" is, well, ugh.
Check out "Halloween."
Monday, October 30, 2006
DSCC Ohio Senate: These People Aren't Happy
In the ad, "Happy," the DSCC juxtaposes the children's song "If You're Happy And You Know It" with pictures of Ohioans who are clearly not happy.
Typically, Grunwald Communications is a concept-free zone, but this spot has a nice idea. Graphics are awful.
Sunday, October 29, 2006
Claire McCaskill Flirts With Copyright Law
Okay, so the commercial called "94" is just another blah, blah, blah attack ad.
Except for one thing.
The music track is so close to the 60's hit "So Happy Together" that it's spooky. Or changed just barely enough to be legal. What's the point of running that risk for blah, blah, blah attack ad?
Listen for yourself.
Friday, October 27, 2006
Ned Lamont Does A War Ad Without A Picture Of President Bush
Ned Lamont continues to deliver some of the best ads of the cycle. This may be the only Democrat ad that tells the war story in a poignant, emotional way instead of spending 30 seconds showing ugly pictures of the opposing candidate with the President.
He has terrific ads. He also has no chance.
Check out "Why Do We Listen."
Thursday, October 26, 2006
Brad Ellsworth Says The Magic Words
In one of the least inspiring spots of the political season, Brad Ellsworth tells us he wants to...wait for it...Move Indiana Forward.
Can we ban that phrase from political advertising? Please? And why is he watching a TV set that's directly behind him? Does he literally have eyes in the back of his head?
Here's the spot from Dixon/Davis. Try to stay awake. I dare you.
Women's Voices Women Vote Makes With The Celebrities
Here's a really well done get out the vote spot from the nice folks at Women's Voices Women Vote. Great concept, terrific performances and top notch talent.
But what happened to the graphics at the end.
Check it out here.
Lazy Blogger Enters 21st Century
At long last, we've finally gotten off our collective duffs and come up with an RSS feed. Those of you who are so inclined, click on the link in the right sidebar and RSS feed your hearts out. Or, if you're lazy like us, you can just click here.
Wednesday, October 25, 2006
Monday, October 23, 2006
Asa Hutchinson Proves R's Have A Sense of Humor
In a season bogged down with mean attack ad after mean attack ad, Asa Hutchison and Scott Howell & Co. have come out with...an attack ad. But it looks good and it made us laugh. Is that so wrong?
Check out "Just Like."
Friday, October 20, 2006
Claire McCaskill Gets Foxy
In her hammer-and-tongs fight for Missouri Senate, Claire McCaskill's been tapping the Hollywood contingent.
In this spot, she taps Michael J. Fox to trash her opponent about stem cell research.
Is politics ready for big time celebrity endorsements? Are paid celebrity endorsements right around the corner? Hmmm.
RNC Raised The Stakes
The GOP has certainly stirred it up today with a controversial spot that was clearly inspired by the documentary about radical fundamentalism called "Obsession."
The spot is pretty well done. Props to the ad folks for going with an almost silent soundtrack. Nice work on the graphics, too.
Check out "Stakes."
Thursday, October 19, 2006
Yes on 89 and North Woods Pound It Home
Here's an ad we really like. North Woods pushing California's Prop 89.
Something doesn't make sense, though. This ad is well done and required considerable amounts of both time and money. But they're pushing a proposition that promotes public funding of political campaigns.
If the ad works and the thing passes, North Woods isn't going to be getting budgets like this anymore. They'll be running around with a Handycam and reflector card.
Check it out here.
Bob Beauprez Makes A Poop Joke
Gubernatorial candidate Bob Beauprez and his agency National Media can't resist making a poop joke in his new spot "Smell."
Oh sure, he's in front of red barn wearing the Carhart barn coat that's been issued to every politician West of the Mississippi, but darn it if he doesn't do a good job. It's shot well, too.
And, let's be honest, we're suckers for poop jokes.
Friday, October 13, 2006
Thursday, October 12, 2006
Harold Ford Jr. Gets A Little Funky
Harold Ford Jr. did a very successful, but controversial spot from a church pew. Those wacky cats at the National Republican Senatorial Committee took it and got a little funky with it.
Best soundtrack of the cycle so far. Check out "What Kind."
Jim Pederson Does Something Pretty Decent
We've given Jim Pederson and his media group Struble Eichenbaum a pretty hard time. Usually because they keep doing the same old stuff.
Then, lo and behold, they go and do and make liars out of us by doing something different. And pretty decent, too. It's called "Criminal."
Ned Lamont Is Scary
While the work from North Woods Advertising has been very uneven in this race, the new Ned Lamont spot "Horror" proves that when these guys are on their game their one of the very best.
Are people really all tweaked up about bringing toothpaste on airplanes? I don't know, but the Psycho-inspired spot is a winner.
Wednesday, October 11, 2006
Move America Forward: Is Airport Security Funny?
In this spot from the folks at the anti-terrorist Move America Forward, regular people are delayed at airport security while obvious terrorists skate past TSA officials.
Hmm. Are they promoting profiling or dissing the TSA? It's one of those case where I know what you mean, but you don't really mean what you say. Do you?
We think they were more on target with their first ad showing Bill Clinton's failures in the war on terror. See it here.
By Request: The Stop DeVos Review
A reader asked if we'd review the Stop DeVos work. This is a little out of our pay grade as we stick to broadcast commercials and the Stop DeVos effort is 100% internet, but what the heck.
Here's the skinny. We wanted to like ad number one. Check it out here. Cool music, good regular-guy voice over and some really decent (if homemade looking at times) production work. The trouble is message.
We shouldn't vote for Dick DeVos because he headed up Amway. Fair enough, but this is hardly a news flash to anyone in Michigan. And comparing Amway to Puppy Stomping, well, that's a bit of a stretch.
On TV you can pound a message home by purchasing a lot of media time and shoving it down people's throats. On the internet you gotta make them come to you.
Debbie Stabenow Seems A Little Stiff
In this latest ad from Scott Howell and Company for client Mike Bouchard, Debbie Stabenow is presented as a life-sized cutout.
Good concept, good acting and nice production.
A bright spot in a cycle filled with dismal work. Check it out here.
Saturday, September 23, 2006
Mike McGavick Is Very Generic
In his newest ad, generically titled "Change," Mike would like you to know he's not like those people in Washington and that he will do something about whatever it is they they are not doing. Or something like that.
He walks, he talks, he rolls up his sleeves and says the exact same thing everyone else says. Even delivers the very generic tagline "Real. Change."
A swing and a miss from Alfano-Leonardo.
Kinky Friedman Is A Ray Of Sunshine
This year's political races have been one side trying to out-negative the other side.
Kinky Friedman has been, well, himself. Which is a good thing. His latest ad, "Cowboy Way" produced by North Woods, stands in stark contrast to the other ads in the Texas Governor's race. That is, it doesn't suck.
Wednesday, September 13, 2006
Insert Your Candidate Here
Amy Klobuchar's new spot "What Happened," from the Grunwald folks, shows us all how to make a standard issue political ad.
1. Have the candidate make a claim.
2. Show the candidate hard at work behind a desk.
3. Include "candid" moments with "real" people.
Lather, rinse, repeat. This is why the Tivo was invented.
Saturday, September 09, 2006
If We Won't Do It, Rick Perry Will
In his newest ad, Rick Perry, the virtually unchallenged Governor of Texas, stands on the Rio Grande and says that if the federales won't keep illegal immigrants out, he will. Watch "Border" here.
Nicely produced and shot. A far cry from the rather shabby "Proud of Texas" ad he launched with.
Friday, September 08, 2006
Who Says You Can't Teach An Old Message New Tricks
The whole "we need a different kind of Senator" message was first heard in Latin from some upstart in the Roman Forum.
Typically, spots singing this song might as well be in Latin, but Michael Steele delivers the goods in this spot. He's approachable, convincing and warm. OnMessage delivered just enough technique to make it hip and contemporary without making it look like it's trying too hard.
Kweise Mfume Is A Bit Confused
Kweise's very convincing on camera in his new ad "How You Finish" from Trippi and Associates.
Trouble is, he seems a bit confused. If you didn't know any better, you'd think he was running against George Bush for Maryland Senate. A little desperate sounding we think.
Wednesday, September 06, 2006
Asa Grew Up In The Country
You can't start a political campaign without a bio ad and Asa Hutchinson's campaign follows the rule. The difference here is that this ad tells the Asa story with a little style and and current editorial technique.
View "Life" from Asa and Scott Howell & Company here.
Tuesday, September 05, 2006
Harold Ford Jr. Can Walk And Talk
There's atheme running through Harold Ford's commercials. It has nothing to do with education or oil or Iraq. It's this: Harold Ford can talk while he walks. This is harder than it looks. A lot of politicians can barely talk. Or walk. Harold can do both. At the same time.
In fact, he's a darn decent actor. And that's his edge.
Check out his walking and talking here. If he wins, his acting ability will deserve a lot of the credit. If he loses, this guy needs an agent.
Monday, September 04, 2006
We're Endorsing Old Relish Packet
The Ad Council, via Atlanta's West Wayne, has produced some of the best political advertising of the season. Basically, a campaign to encourage people to register and vote, the ads are brilliant parodies of political ads promoting candidates like "Old Relish Packet" and "Spoiled Yappy Dog."
Check out the whole set at payattenion.org.
Saturday, September 02, 2006
Claire McCaskill Is Good With Maps
If Missouri is a bellwether state this year, Claire McCaskill's media people better get on their horses. "Protect" is the third horribly boring ad that's bending over backward to inoculate the candidate on every issue from nuclear war to bad breath.
In the selected frame, Claire is helping a border patrol officer read a fuzzy map.
Monday, August 28, 2006
It's name calling season in the Florida GOP governor primary.
Stevens & Schreifer client, Charlie Crist, calls their opponent Taxing Tom in a quickie cut and paste spot. (Does S&S not employ any graphic people at all? Someone send them a reel, quick!)
Tom Gallagher, through new media team Alfano-Leonardo, have a little fun with bumper stickers. And can someone tell this blog why there appears to be a steam locomotive driving through the first shot?
Sunday, August 27, 2006
Tuesday, August 22, 2006
Maria Cantwell Knows How To Sign Things
We've noticed Karl Struble's working looking a bit better this time around, but it's hard for an old dog to remember his new tricks.
In the spot "Sound," Karl and Maria dig up the old "have an assistant bring in a folder with something for the important person to sign" gag.
Ben Cardin Doesn't Want To Offend Anybody
Democrat Senate candidate Ben Cardin and his media consultant Laguens Hamburger, have conveniently packed everything wrong with political advertising into one handy 30-second package.
The copy is meaningless drivel, the camera work is poor, the extras look horrified and the casting is a heavy-handed attempt to simulate some sort of United Nations.
Thursday, August 17, 2006
Well-known funny man Rick Santorum cracks a few one-liners in two spots from Brabender Cox.
In "Daily Bugle," Rick sits at his breakfast table and laughs off comments made about him in the newspapers. Oddy enough, Rick finds a newspaper that thinks he's too liberal.
Then, for some reason, Rick shows up at a polka party to talk about benefits for seniors. And who can resist a plucky senior telling a sitting United States Senator, "move it or lose it!"
If the Senate gig doesn't work out, Rick can always play the Poconos.
Steve Laffey Has A Depressing Life
We're not sure if the folks at Red Sea want us to vote for Steve Laffey or just feel sorry for him.
Here's the text of the TV spot called "Serious" probably because the title "So Depressing You'll Want To Hang Yourself" wouldn't fit on the slate.
STEVE LAFFEY: Politics should be about solving problems, not serving special interests.
I lost a brother to AIDS. My parents live on Social Security and Medicare, and Dad suffers from Alzheimer's.
(Text on screen: John & Mary Laffey)
Every day career politicians in Washington raid the Social Security trust fund to pay for their pet projects and their special interest deals.
As your senator, I won't stand for it. I'm Steve Laffey. I approve this message because it's time we stood up for what's right.
At Least They're Starting Off Nice
Mark Green -- the Republican Wisconsin Governor candidate -- introduced a cute self-deprecating spot featuring his family ala the opening spot from Mark Kennedy in the Minnesota Senate campaign. The difference here? The spot is framed as a response to his opponent's attack.
This spot it cute, but it's probably the last one in a campaign that's about to get nasty.