I reviewed the Crossroads GPS ad earlier this week, as you may remember they're up with a $20 million buy. Despite spending $20 million to run the ad, I found their ad cold, trying to make a rational case rather than wrapping an emotional case around some facts. I came across this online video made by the Romney folks that takes on the jobs/economy theme much more effectively than crossroads.
Similar to the Crossroads ad, this one uses the President's words and turns them against him. But where the Crossroads' quotes felt out of context these feel devastatingly on point. While the CG's with the numbers feel a little complicated, and I found hard to read, I did like the driving drum music, and the final shot of the empty factory was pretty powerful. Glad this ad is on the internet only and doesn't have $20 million behind it.
Priorities USA responded to the Crossroads ad with this ad:
This spot is better than the Crossroads' ad, while it didn't break any new ground, and the portraits were neither particularly interesting (except for the kid at the end with the flag sitting on the soccer ball -- I think it's the ball that makes it feel authentic) nor innovative, they were trying to make the ad emotional. Gosh I do hate the ad in the TV effect showing your opponent's attack ad, it so clunky, can't we come up with something new? I did like the end line, "We can't rebuild America if we tear down the middle class."
Did I love this ad, no. It felt hackneyed and I would have rather seen more unoriginal portraits over the "ads blaming President Obama" section along with Rove headline rather than the ugly TV, it seemed to break the flow of the faces for me, and made the ad more political, and less about these people. At least they tried to hit the right emotional tone and tie it to the message, something the Crossroad ad failed to do.
These three ads/videos represent the opening salvo of the 2012 General election. Republicans want to make the election about Obama versus some hypothetical candidate, if they succeed then they win. Democrats want the election to be about Obama versus Romney or Pawlenty or Bachman or whomever, he wins that battle because they can't compare (and their positions are ultimately unpopular). Of the three, the Romney video did the best job on striking that resonate chord. I still question if folks blame Obama for the economy or lack of jobs, they may be angry about it, but not sure they hold him accountable, voters have already made a decision about Obama, and worked the economy into that calculus.
If Republicans have any chance, they're going to need more videos like Romney's.