On September 5, 2008, I did a post asking people to comment on Jill Long-Thompson's TV ads. I got eleven public comments and twenty-two private. They were ALL negative. I was going to go public and release the results, but on or about September 10, JLT changed its media consultant. (No word yet on who the new shop is or will be).
Different people have different philosophies about how many gross rating points (GRPs) you need to buy for an ad to "work," and most people say you need to see an ad seven times to have the message "sink in." I say "bovine feces."
If an ad is different enough...if it is creative enough...all it takes is one viewing. But when your political ad looks like every other political ad, it doesn't "break through the clutter." The reason Mitch Daniels' "Pirates of the Carribean" ad was so lauded was because of its difference. I've told anybody who would listen that there is enough "other side of the story" to that ad that it would be easy to demolish it with comparable one that shows Mitch's words dissolving with the negative statistics and results over the top. I even had a bunch of modified tag-lines that played on the movie theme, such as:
"Mitch Daniels - II - "Two Thumbs Down! A Sequel Hoosiers Can't Afford!"
Well, guess what? I wasn't alone in my thinking. Check out this ad, by a media-savvy labor union guy. I wouldn't have used all of the same talking points included is this ad, but had this been a JLT ad, it would have (a) been extremely memorable for JLT; and (b) would have actually drawn off of the popularity of Daniels' ad by drawing people to the TV who thought they were seeing HIS ad until it was too late.
Sigh. The sad part is that if anybody needs a huge bang for the buck, it's a candidate who trails in the money race. Each JLT ad needed to be three times as effective as each Daniels ad, but the consensus was that the ads run to date did not even keep pace. JLT has a LOT of ground to make up, but with strong performances at three upcoming debates, anything is possible. I learned that yesterday when the Colts trailed 15-0 in the late third quarter.