Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Tuesday Night T.V.



The Ad: Mike Gibbons For Attorney General

The Theme: I'm Tough on Crime, He's A Political Opportunist.

Republican candidate for Attorney General Mike Gibbons goes 50-50 in his second T.V. ad in the Ozarks. The first portion of the ad, quickly rolls through his accomplishments, painting him as tough on crime. He cracked down on meth and sexual predators, who can be against that? The second half shines the light on Democratic opponent Chris Koster, claiming he "plea-bargained 90% of his cases." Notice how we go from color to shady black-and-white. Gibbons knows he's got to quickly shape a perception of Koster that didn't sell in the Democratic primary.

The Ad: Chris Koster for Attorney General

The Theme: I Fight For The Little Guy

I didn't think Chris Koster could win the Democratic primary for Attorney General. Boy, was I mistaken. A smart Democrat told me, who didn't back Koster previously, put it this way: "He go to these forums, and he'd tower over Harris and Donnelly. His booming voice, his boyish good looks. He won them over with his authority and his charm." That's what I think is conveyed in this ad. Cool, calm, collected . . . almost cocky, but compassion, for "the victim," not in the courtroom. Koster might be slick, but his ads are even slicker. They are some of the best in this cycle. He picks up the same exact theme from the primary, and it seems to work. The touchy music, the still shots of the faces of real people. I'm too moved to know if the guy is pulling one over on me.

The Ad: Sam Page for Lieutenant Governor

The Theme: I'm a Doctor Who Thinks You Deserve Health Insurance

A couple different themes are wrapped into this 30-second ad for the Democratic candidate for Lieutenant Governor. First, it establishes Rep. Sam Page's credentials. He's a doctor. You never hear him mention he's a state lawmaker as well. It's not Rep. Page. It's Dr. Page. People love doctors. Can you imagine a politician running as an attorney. ("I'm a trial attorney, I sue companies for people who get injured on the job.") Of course not! The line that should get viewers' attention is when he calls Gov. Blunt and Lt. Gov. Kinder out on the health care cuts. He calls them "wrong," he links Kinder to Blunt, and notice he never says "Medicaid." It's a pretty basic ad when it comes down to it. Not to hard, not to soft. Just right? I dunno, maybe if you don't have health care?

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