Comparing two ads, the first is a NRCC ad against Alan Grayson. [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F3ls8qnM32U&feature=player_embedded]
Grayson you may remember from a few posts ago, took his opponent's quote out of context to make it seem like he was saying the very thing he was denouncing. That's pretty despicable stuff. And the NRCC goes after him..., sort of.... They attack him for that, and for two or three other quotes to get the payoff line, "He's a national embarrassment." That's a good payoff, but I'm not there with them when they get there. They've thrown too many things out there, Obama Health Care, comparing Christianity to the Taliban, I don't remember what else, but it's all too much.
They had a great case to make, what Grayson did was unethical, he lied, and tried to manipulate the public. It's one thing to be an embarrassment, it's another thing to be immoral and a liar. If the NRCC had seen fit to focus their attack on that one act, I think it would have been enough, and a devastating attack, as it is,by trying to put too much into the attack, I think this attack misses the mark or at the very least, deflects off of Grayson.
The other ad is against old Roy Blunt:
This one hits the mark, pretty effectively, and it adds a chuckle at the end for the effort. It also uses multiple examples to drive a point home. Why does this one work, while the NRCC one doesn't?
I think it comes down to the concept of Schwerpunkt. Essentially schwerpunkt is "was a center of gravity towards which was made the point of maximum effort, in an attempt to seek a decisive action. Ground, mechanized and tactical air forces were concentrated at this point of maximum effort whenever possible." The Grayson attack doesn't concentrate it's efforts,so it can't break through, the Carnahan ad on the other hand is focused, it attacks along one access and stays focuses on that axis.
Next time you're working on an attack/negative ad, ask yourself are you concentrating your attack at a point of maximum effort? Or is your attack spread out?