I’ve learned not to trust my own judgment about what makes an effective political ad. I look for truth, relevance, and wisdom, and that clearly isn’t what moves poll numbers.
So I’m always fascinated to see what the pros decide to put serious money behind. I’ve talked to enough of the these folks to know that they tap their creativity and instincts, but also rely on data – polling and focus groups to tell them what works.
So it’s interesting to see the messages Republicans are employing to make a play for Pennsylvania now that the race has tightened. This ad by the group Americans for Job Security and this one from the Koch brothers’ group Americans for Prosperity portray former Obama voters having second thoughts.
It’s interesting none are African-American. The seek to identify with younger and middle-aged white and Hispanic swing voters who went Obama’s way in 2008, and give them permission to bail on him. Does it work? Somebody must have some evidence for it.
But I really have to tip my hat to a series of online ads produced by a conservative group I’d never heard of called Independent Womens Voice. It’s one of those non-profit groups that doesn’t have to disclose it’s donors but is free in the new campaign finance world to trash any candidate standing.
Their new online campaign features short videos like the one above in which two women talk about the guy they trusted, the one they thought they knew and believed in, who’s let them down. Neither Obama’s nor Romney’s image comes until the end of the pitches. I don’t know if they convince anybody of anything, but they’re clever.
I learned of this campaign from the tireless Keegan Gibson, editor of the online site, PoliticsPa. See more of the videos here.
Finally, I like the ad that Republican U.S. Senate candidate Tom Smith is running featuring his daughter Allison talking about her dad. I’ve always thought Smith’s strongest assets were his personal story and likability, and they come through here. See that ad below.