In yet another sign a federal election might be near the Liberals have released a couple of new TV spots -- one sort of negative, the other positive.
Here's the attack ad.
This is a good ad from a stylistic and technical viewpoint. Great visuals, ominous music, clear concise message. I especially like the part at the end when the words "deceit", "abuse" and "contempt" are stamped on the screen in big red letters. You could watch this ad with the sound turned off and still get the message, which is the mark of a good TV spot. But it has one big problem -- the content. The ad focuses on a series of "mini-scandals" which, as I have noted before, won't resonate with the public. Political messages which scream "they are a bunch of crooks" just don't work all that well. So this ad likely won't have much impact with the casual voter. On the other hand, simply by releasing an aggressive ad the Liberals are sending out the message that they are willing to duke it out with the Tories, countering Conservative attack ads with their own attack ads. This will at least help mobilize and energize a demoralized Liberal base, which is not a small thing.
Score 7 out of 10.
Here's the positive spot.
One word: boring!
This is the kind of spot you dream up when you don't have any ideas for an ad. Here's what probably happened in Liberal HQ:
Consultant 1: Well, we have no issues. We are down in the polls. Nothing is sticking to the Tories.What do we do?
Consultant 2: I have it! Let's have the leader mumble some Liberal talking points while speaking directly to the camera?
Consultant 1: Brilliant! We can whip that up in two minutes. Now who wants to order lunch?
Well, I think the Liberals should have worked at little harder. First off, Michael Ignatieff doesn't exactly exude charisma on the screen, so why they have an ad with just him talking is beyond me.
At least throw some visuals in the spot. Have him in a classroom, a senior centre, or have some words appear on the screen. Anything to break the tedium.
Also, the content is really weak. Seems to me what Canadians really care about is the economy. The stuff Ignatieff rattles on about is likely lower on the national priority list. (Although I did like the crack about the G 20 "lake") Not that it matters since most viewers will likely tune this dud out.
Score: 4 out of 10.