Monday, June 01, 2009

Attack ad on Reagan flopped

All this talk about the anti-Ignatieff ads, has me thinking about attack ads of the past.

Here's one that went after Ronald Reagan way back in 1980.

It didn't work.


Ted Betts said...

The Ayers ads from McCain didn't work so well either.

Like the Harper ads, the Ayers ads failed because they were looking back into the past for attacks, while voters were concerned about the economy. It made McCain and these ads make Harper look desperate to get away from the topic everyone wants to hear the politicians talk about.

Hugh MacIntyre said...

There was no scary music...that was the problem with this ad

Mark Richard Francis said...

"no scary music" LOL.

More was wrong with it. The visuals were neutral. There was also nothing powerful to grab onto.

With the Iranian hostage crisis dragging on and on back then, promoting Carter as being more able with foreign policy wasn't really a good take either.

Next, foreign policy arguments in the US only matter in the voter booth when explicitly tied with local concerns. The topic matter of the ad was dead upon delivery.

Cranky or Just A Crank said...

The ads against RWR were (supposedly) just some random people on the street that are offering up vague fears and misgivings without anything concrete to show as a basis those feelings.

The election result in CA was 53-39% for Reagan may very well have been successful - the 14 percentage points weren't nearly enough considering what a hopeless and hapless buffoon Carter was and still is.

The Ignatieff ads are different. They don't hit the man on the street but rather take his own words and lay out a case that he has not been involved in Canada in any appreciable way since Trudeau's first election as PM and is a dillitente trying out this politcs thingy for a while but keeping his old job out of the country as a back up.

I think that this is an effective tack to take since outside of hardcore Trudeaupians, the bulk of the country has little stomach for a return to the rule of the condescending academic that rides in to save and educate the unwashed and show us what a being Canadian really means.

The ads are good, but what should follow is a set of ads on Harper to contrast Ignatief. Whereas Iggy was from royalty and left Canada early to be educated and to live and work abroad, Harper came from a boring middle class family, went to school in Canada and has been grinding it out trying to support and promote his vision of Canada since then. While Ignatief writes a book about himself, Harper writes a book about hockey. And so on.

The ads may not play well or get good reviews in the Parliamentary press gallery or the CBC, but there aren't a lot of seats up for grabs there. They will play well in 905/519/613/250 where there are votes to be had.

Brian said...

Ah come on Gerry ... all the people who "mouthed" into the camera were from California !

Attack adds really do work when they score a direct hit , such as the ones one Dion and now Iggy the "accidental tourist".