Monday, June 25, 2012

Rating the new Tory attack ad

When you get a reputation for running political “negative ads”, people will almost be disappointed if you don’t go on the attack.

Such is the case with the Conservative Party.

Always aggressive, the Tories seem to take great delight in stuffing their opponents into a media meat grinder.  Just ask Stephane Dion or Michael Ignatieff.

At any rate, people either love these ads or love to hate them.

And so naturally, every one was impatiently waiting for them to go after the new kid on the block -- NDP leader Thomas Mulcair.

Well, it’s happened; the Conservatives have at long last posted their first true Mulcair attack video.

How does it rate?

Well, I don’t like it.

Yes it has all the standard ingredients that go into making an effective attack spot:  black and white imagery to make the target look menacing, ominous music and a voice of doom narration.

But the messaging in the ad is vague and confusing; so people just won't get it.

My point is a good political ad starts from scratch and basically assumes the voter knows nothing.

Yet this attack spot more or less assumes voters know what “Dutch Disease” means; it assumes they know what a carbon tax is; it assumes they know about trade policy.

And those are all massive assumptions.

Plus, it’s just plain confusing when the words, “Make them pay now for what they are doing” flash on the screen. What the heck does that mean? Did Mulcair say that? If he did, so what? Who are “they” and what exactly are they “doing?"

How does all this lead viewers to conclude that Mulcair has “risky theories” and “dangerous economic experiments.”

It doesn’t.

Why not just come out and say, "Mulcair has attacked Alberta's oil sands, calling it the Dutch Disease, he wants to kill jobs etc."

Simpler is always better.

In short, this is an over the top ad that will leave viewers scratching their heads if not reaching for the remote.

That’s if they pay attention at all.

These are summer days after all, when the only dangerous experiments occur when people try to create their own barbecue sauce.

Score: 4 out of 10.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Harper looks desperate by recycling his hate ads. I've been a liberal supporter for many years Harper's vacuous attack ads are
a blight on our democracy. As a result of this ad I donated $500 to the NDP tonight so they can push back against these political thug tactics. The ad is an epic fail when it leads people to shun the Tories and donate to their opponents.