Friday, January 21, 2011

Reviewing the Liberal ads

Predictably the Liberals are responding to the recent spate of Conservative negative ads with their own attack ads.

Oops, sorry, according to Liberal partisans the ads are not "attack" ads, but actually "contrast" ads because they focus on issues. (When I was working in the US we called our negative spots "comparative" ads.)

But euphemisms aside, how do these two new Liberal negative ads rate.

Here's my review:

First off, both ads have poor production values. Perhaps this an indication of the Liberal Party's financial weakness, or maybe it's just a Canadian thing. The Tory ads were no great shakes in that regard either.

On the positive side both Liberal spots have concise, tight and focussed messages. When you only have 30 seconds that's important. The visuals in both spots were not great, but OK.

Of the two ads I like this one better:

Obviously, this ad is playing the populist card, a ploy that will likely resonate with a certain audience. It's what I like to call the  "Us vs. Them" tactic. Harper stands for big corporations (Them), the Liberals stand for "Us". It's hokey, but it can work. And the ad has some emotional punch. Score: 7 out of 10.

This ad on the other hand, hits the wrong chord.

Again, tight script and cute visuals but strategically this is the wrong Liberal message. Going after the Tories on the jet fighter issue is playing to Prime Minister Harper's strength: defence and security. If I am Harper I am happy to fight the Liberals over the question of who is better able to defend Canada. For most Canadians the default answer to that question is the Conservatives. That's why the Liberals are better to stick to issues where they have the home field advantage: health care, the environment, social issues. Score: 6 out of 10.

Interestingly, both ads attack Harper from the Left. This suggests the real purpose of the ads is not to win over new voters, but to mobilize the Liberal base. And while the morale of their supporters is important, the Liberals will need more powerful ammunition and better issues if they hope to persuade Canadians that it's time to topple the Conservatives.


Anonymous said...

One of the things that was left out of their list of things that were going up in price was electricity. Hmm. Electricity has gone up (esp. in Ontario) at a far greater rate than food or transportation.

They claim that gas prices are going up. True.HST can be blamed in part. No? But they campaigned on higher gas prices during the last election.

I'm getting a headache...

Anonymous said...

It makes me want one of those jet fighters.


wilson said...

It's just another groundhog day.

2008 Election campaign,
September 22, 2008

Jack Layton
"NDP will repeal corporate tax cuts"

Jan 21, 2011
The coalition reveal their first ad.

Anonymous said...

They should come at Harper from the right and attack him on government spending and subsidies to big business, not tax cuts.

As far as military spending goes, everyone knows our forces have been underfunded for generations now. I think there should be some new tanks and ships to go with those planes. Its one of the only legitimate forms of government spending.

Frances said...

It's not just the largest corporations: your neighbourhood hardware store, vet, chiropractor, restaurant, pharmacy - surprising how many of them are independently owned or even - under a corporate level - a franchise and so a genuine Canadian corporation. They may be a small corporation, but they're there, they hire TONS of people, and they're also paying those taxes.

The big boys generally have ways to avoid (not evade) taxes; not so the small guys.

maryT said...

454,776 Companies in Ontario, Canada, and these companies are corporations.
How many jobs do they provide.
Imagine how many corporations are in Canada.
And how about the Crown Corporations. Lots of those too.
Maybe iggy should goole corporations in Canada, and find how many different kinds there are.

bertie said...

Whats the problem,It,s Harper's Canada.And it's mine and it is yours.They just don't know how to finish their sentences.

Anonymous said...

I have read you reviews of all the ads. I personally think the best one is the conservative one in french.
What is the Nichols review of it?

Anonymous said...

If Ignatief had a brain he would attack Harper from the Right, especially over Julian Fantino. But he doesn't so he won't.