Dick Lugar is up with his new ad, trying to reach out to a party base that may have passed him by.
If they had come to me first and asked me what I thought, here's how the conversation might have played out:
Me: "I like the last line, 'a veteran fighting along side our new recruits, will help them....' Do we need the 'I'll hope you agree before it?"
Them: "Well, [insert person's name here, senator, staff, pollster, wife, donor] insisted that it be in there, makes him seem like a regular guy, you know?:
Me: "Ok, well it sounds kinda weak, when we want him to sound strong. Isn't that the point of the spot? That's he's taken on this problems before, that's he been toughened by age and experience? Now, why no music? It's an interesting choice."
Them: "Yeah, well we didn't want to make it seem like a political commercial."
Me: "Oh, you have a senator speaking directly to camera, but you didn't want it to feel like a political commercial? Right now it feels really flat, music could help give an emotional frame to the spot."
Them: "We didn't want to seem like were trying too hard or being manipulative?"
Me: "Ok, well, to be honest the spot feels a little desperate right now, like Lugar is begging for support, it feels a little pandery [is that a word, pandering?]. And, well, what the word, the Senator, well, he comes off as kinda old looking. That's what struck me the first time he's on screen."
Them: "Really? We had a special make-up artist who works with aging rock stars." [That's a true story, I used a make-up woman who's specialty was aging rock stars, she used a spray gun to paint on the make up of an aging man running for office.]
Me: "Well he looks and sounds old, and he's a little weirdly happy, when he should be more intense or something, again music would help...."
Them (looking increasingly like they want to leave): "Yeah. What else?"
Me: "What's up with the Reagan shots."
Them: "Conservatives love Reagan, Lugar worked with Reagan, therefore conservatives love Lugar. Get it?"
Me: "Yeah, well, the shots look dated, and make you realize that Lugar has been in office a long time. Who told him to smile the whole time? <Sigh>"
Them: "So basically, you think it's emotionally flat, he smiles too much, looks old, and seems like he's pandering?"
Me: "Exactly, and I just don't buy it, feels like he's trying to be something he's not comfortable with."
Them: "And that..."
Me: "Is that new, did I not say that before?"
Me: "Oh, ok, yeah it feels inauthentic too. Alright well, good first cut, let's get back into the edit room and fix it."
Well, it would have went something like that.