The latest ad reviewed by our Political Ad Watch — “Drain” from North Carolina’s Pat McCrory — may not win any awards for ingenuity, but it is a solid example of high production values supporting a genuine message.
The 30-second spot features a woman and a man at a lunch counter bantering about the negative advertising on the Republican nominee from “folks who want to keep things going the same way in North Carolina.”
It ends with a chuckle-inducing line. “Pat McCrory, good guy, good plan,” the woman says. “Good fries,” the man responds.
“Smart, intimate, good looking,” writes Rick Wilson. “Better for tuned-in voters, but spot-on given Perdue’s lackluster performance.”
While I agree with Wilson, especially believing the writing to be crisp and effective, Gregory Wilson disagreed, “Easy to like. Just as easily does not work.”
“Two things most candidates don’t readily grasp is that people don’t watch TV to see political commercials, and that there are higher expectations of advertising than most candidates are willing to commit themselves to satisfying. And the number one mistake campaigns make too often is trying to accomplish too many things within one commercial. The McCrory Campaign deserves credit for committing themselves to better advertising, and certainly to high production standards. The real question is whether this spot really works well enough, relative to the investment they made. With regret, I say “probably not,” and here’s why: They’re pushing more ideas than they can reasonably expect the audience to process. “Good fries” is not what you want people to remember. Seriously, count them: 1) TV attacks. 2) People who want to keep things the same way. 3) Down the drain. 4) Purdue’s policies. 5) Is he not well? 6) Good guy, good plan (which really should be the only thing you want voters to remember). 7) Good fries. The bottom line is this: Yes, be creative in order to distinguish your ads from all the rest. No, don’t be so creative that the ad doesn’t work as well as it should. It’s a fine line that requires real discipline. But if you always choose to do one thing well, rather than seven things mediocre, your creativity stands a better chance of being effective.”
Material from the News Observer’s John Frank was used in this post.