http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=elgRJ0UBGoc Barbara Buono has an uphill battle, convincing New Jersey voters that popular Governor Chris Christie hasn't done as good a job as people think. While Christie's been up for a while Buono is spening $1m in the New York market (which isn't that much in that market) with this ad.
The ad is professional, but it's really not compelling. It picks up a little steam when :20 in when they show the picture of her dad with the sausage, but they don't have the time or inclination to dwell there, rather they throw out hackneyed platitudes about pulling yourself up.
Here's the thing ... you're trying to convince people of something they don't believe, fine that's the purpose of advertising --if people agreed with you, would you need to advertise? But when you're facing Goliath, David is foolish to fight toe to toe. I sometimes talk about attrition warfare here, and that's the strategy Buono is taking.
I'm getting a litte far afield from the ad istelf, but if the goal if this ad is to convince people that Christie has done a bad job, why would it? It's a political he said/she said, Christie starts with the high ground, he has more resources, and Buono is charging her army in a frontal assualt.
What should she do? Maneuver, don't fight him straight on, fight asymmetrically, hit Christie on an issue they don't see coming or one that goes to the heart of his credibility. Throwing three charges against him is akin to saying nothing, it becomes political blah, blah, blah. Maybe that issue doesn't exist, then find something that people can hook into, something that resonates, something that's emotional not rational (and especially not rational when people already disagree with you).
An ad like this works only if you have favorable terrain and equal or better resources.
It's a safe ad, but when you're fighting Goliath, playing it safe only plays to his game not yours.