Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Jill Long & Obama are "ON THE AIR!"

I like to critique political ads immediately after seeing them for the first time. This helps me assess how well the ads do in imprinting facts and positive feelings in my mind and heart (a/k/a “the residual effect” of the ad).

Jill Long Thompson’s ad is a so-so bio piece. I now know that Jill Long saved her family farm from bankruptcy and did something I can’t remember as a member of Congress in response. I also know Jill Long won’t sell state assets, and she’ll get us “back on track.” I think I don’t remember more because in the middle of the ad, it inexplicably goes to a split screen. Somebody schooled in ad science probably told her that minds can process multiple images, so splitting the screen shows twice the images in the same amount of time. However, I found it distracting, and I don’t recall any differences in the images. My recollection is that it went from one cornfield to two. I give it 2 1/2 out of 4 stars.

Barack Obama’s ad is a “groovy” 60’ish type ad encouraging people to register to vote. It’s clear this ad is geared toward young people, as it talks about environmental protection and “change” while showing Obama being mobbed by crowds in a “Kennedyesque” or “Beatle-mania” way. If this were a general election ad, Obama would get buried here. It’s way too “activist” for Indiana. It made me feel GREAT though. He captures that he's a change movement, not a candidate. I give it 4 stars.

Hopefully, Obama can balance his “Rock the Vote” approach with an ad touting the endorsement he received today from “The Dean” of the Indiana Congressional delegation for decades – Lee Hamilton. Hamilton’s endorsement is major, which is why CNN reported it today. Hamilton is one of the best-known international relations men in our country, and his statement that he likes how Obama is approaching foreign affairs is notable. Moreover, this endorsement suggests that Bill Clinton’s good deeds won’t result in political chits for Hillary. (President Clinton appointed Hamilton’s nephew, David Hamilton, to the federal bench in the Southern District of Indiana).


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