Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Media Matters Isn't So Good At The Whole Media Thing

Okay, maybe I'm missing the point here.

Maybe Media Matters is trying to make a stand by running an ad critical of Fox News on Fox News. Fine, I get it. But when I look at this spot, I just see 30 seconds of my life I'm not getting back.

A waving American flag with a line that starts off with "A Special Message"? All set in a dull typeface that's improperly spaced and kerned by someone who doesn't know what the word "kern" means?

Honestly, you couldn't have done one single thing more than open up iMovie and jam in some type? An iStock image? A shot of a barking dog? Anything?

I'm sure this a point to all this, but I'm not getting it.

Click here to watch "Media Matters"

Monday, August 30, 2010

One Word For Charlie Crist

Charlie's up with a positive ad that Frank Luntz called the worst ad he's ever tested. Since I almost never agree with Luntz, I expected to see genius. Unfortunately, I will now have to type some words that are very, very difficult:

I agree with Frank Luntz.

There, I said it. This ad from Crist is the old gag where you just use single words from people and cut it into something. Have I used the "one word" trick before? Yes. Have I used it for 30 whole seconds? No. Did I do it in such a way that not one salient point was made? No. And did I bookend it with graphics that look they were made by someone using a Commodore 64? No.

But Charlie did.

I know it's popular to jump on Charlie right now, but this time, he has it coming.

Click here to watch "One Word"

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Harry Reid's "Extreme" Is Extremely Bad

Okay, you're running against an opponent who spends all day, every day giving you ammunition to pummel them. With things like "Social Security violates the Ten Commandments" and "a Scientology massage program for prisoners" you have attack ad gold, right?

Wrong. Harry Reid can't even do attack ads right.

In "Extreme" he takes a dream collection of hits, illustrates them dreary, cheap stock shots and wraps them all up with "She's just too extreme."

Harry, demand a refund from the agency. Seriously.

Grade: D

Click here to watch "Extreme"

Rick Scott Has A Plan For Jobs, No Plan For This Spot

We think Rick Scott would make a dandy governor for Florida, but this TV commercial couldn't get you elected President of the Paris Hilton Fan Club. (And you'd be running unopposed for that one.)

Theoretically, the spot is about Scott's plan to bring jobs to Florida, but the visuals look he spend the afternoon rummaging through the trash can behind the Florida Board of Tourism.

They probably meant it to be a lovely pastiche of Florida vistas, but it really doesn't work. Especially when Rick's plea to phase out the business income tax is illustrated by a waist down shot of a woman in white slacks.

Grade: D

Check out "Jobs"

Monday, August 23, 2010

Kendrick Meek Goes Out With A Bang

For some reason, we are obsessed with Kendrick Meek, the presumptive loser in the upcoming Florida Senate race. Oh sure, he'll beat the pants off Jeff Greene tomorrow (Meek is leading by double digits), but that's not stopping him from going out swinging.

At somebody. Anybody.

Your typical endorsement/closer ad turns negative hit machine at the :15 mark. What can we say? It's another nice hit ad from the Meek campaign.

Grade: B

Click here to see "Endorse"

Thursday, August 19, 2010

NRSC Scores A Political Ad Guy First

Okay, I rarely put up web videos because, well, they suck. Here's a rare exception from the RNC where the message is clear, the type is small and tasteful and the video doesn't try to co-opt (read "steal") and idea from an existing TV spot or movie.

Grade: B

Check out "Extreme"

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

You Know Those Funny Viral Videos? Daniel Freilich Didn't Make One

Up until Labor Day every tin foil hat wearing nut job who found enough change in the couch to pay the filing fee thinks he has a chance to win. Thanks to the magic of the Internet, they get to share their madness with us.

You've probably seen the funny viral videos that no-buck candidates have put up this cycle. This isn't one. The only thing more tragic than some idiot trying to co-opt a popular commercial (listen up everyone who has ever used the word "priceless" in a political ad), is someone who knocks off a popular spot so badly that it makes me want to carve out my own eyeballs with a fork.

Vermont's Daniel Freilich has created such a commercial.

Grade: F

Watch "Look At Me."
Don't blame me if you gouge out your own eyes. Sorry.

Bill Binnie Goes All Ponzi On Kelly Ayotte

When John Sununu told the candidates not to go negative in the four-way NH primary, Bill Binnie must have heard "go all negative." In two spots out today, Binnie features the victims of a Ponzi scheme to fire one across the bow of his opponent (and race leader) Kelly Ayotte.

The spot consists of touching stories from people who were fleeced in the scheme. Unfortunately, these stories are presented as if they were shot on someone's cell phone. These victims and their stories deserve better.

Grade: C

Click here to watch "Victims"
Scott Walker Hates Trains, Not So Crazy About Obama

Wisconsin's Scott Walker is trying to do a spot with Obama, wasteful spending, a federally funded high-speed rail project and potholes.

Somehow, he made it work.

Here's the deal: people hate negative ads and, generally speaking, they kind of like Obama, the guy. This spot does a nice job of dropping a bomb on the opponent and trivializing Obama without having a mean edge.

Walker does a nice job on camera, too. (Although, for God's sake Scott, stop bouncing on the balls of your feet when you finish lines, you're running for governor not auditioning for David Hasselhoff.)

Oddly enough, the star of the spot is a brown paper bag. The website is shown practically with the URL written on a brown bag sitting in a pothole. A double mnemonic that actually works. Very smart.

Grade: A (I don't give many As, so I'll expect a "thank you" note)

Check out Scott Walker's "Stop The Train"

Monday, August 09, 2010

Will Someone Please Wake Up Bill White

They say you can't bore people into voting for you, Bill White is out to prove them wrong.

Bill White has turned a wonderful, compelling personal story into a dreadfully dull TV spot. The production values are embarrassing and the shots of the candidate look like shots that weren't good enough to go into the family vacation scrapbook.

Hey guys, he's running for governor of one of the biggest states in the union, spring for a little color correction.

I'm told Bill is a nice guy. That doesn't mean he's a good announcer.

Grade: D

Take a big gulp of coffee and try to stay awake through "San Antonio"

Michael Bennet Takes An Ad With Cute Little Kids And Ruins It

Your candidate has cute, precocious girls who are good on camera. Naturally, you make a commercial with them saying all sorts of cute things (like "Hickenlooper") that just happen to drive some of your polling points.


But in this ad from Michael Bennet, he takes the cute kids and, well, doesn't show them. He makes their pictures tiny, slathers ugly supers over them, even shows pictures of himself getting off his schoolbus.

At least the kids will have something to tell their therapist when they get older.

Click here to watch "Bus Ride"

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Now The Fun Begins

The primaries are almost done and the real fireworks are about to begin.

Get ready for 90 days of cheesy bios, flimsy attacks and half-baked creative work. I'm giddy.

Fasten your seat belts and put your tray tables in the upright position, this is going to be a bumpy one.

Stay tuned.