John McCain demonstrates how not to make a political ad

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The two campaigns put out new ads today that show a large difference between the professionality of the two campaigns. First here's Barack Obama's ad called "tested", in response to the GOP response to some comments that Biden made on the 19th of October:

John McCain also put out a new ad today called "compare", comparing the two candidates from his point of view:

The McCain ad is slightly better than a lot of the other ones he's put out before (the infamous "how disrespectful!" ad for example) but there are still two problems with this one, one larger than the other.

What's the biggest problem? Well, imagine that both of the ads are on tv but you're not paying much attention, perhaps taking care of some chores, reading a book, just woke up and turned the tv on but haven't opened your eyes, have poor or no vision, etc. The Barack Obama ad comes out exactly the same:

I'm Barack Obama, and I approved this message.
An economic meltdown, two wars, and John McCain's playing with audio tapes, selectively editing Joe Biden's words. The next president will be tested, but here's what Biden actually said about Barack Obama: "They're gonna find out this guy's got steel in his spine". In the financial crisis, Obama had the steady hand. McCain was erratic. His policies follow in Bush's footsteps, and that's the risk we can't afford to take.
That is, you could have that same ad on the radio and you would still know what it was talking about. Now let's take a look at McCain's ad:
Your choice: for higher taxes. For workin' joes. Spread your income. Keep what's yours. A trillion in new spending. Freeze spending, eliminate waste. Pain for small business. Economic growth. Risky. Proven. For a stronger America: McCain.
I'm John McCain, and I approve this message.
For anyone not paying attention, it's not clear until the end of the ad who the ad is even for. Who's doing the spending? Who is giving pain to small business? Does pain for small business then mean economic growth? Finally at the end you hear that the ad was approved by McCain, but by then it's too late and the ad has already passed by. Ads should have a clear message whether seen or listened to.

The other problem? Workin' joes. Tries a bit too hard to be folksy in a serious ad, and only applies to men. Should be replaced with something less pandering and applicable to women as well.


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