Friday, May 7, 2010

Ads of the Damned: Terrence Wall, "Fed Up"

A few days ago I called this ad Terrence Wall's first of his campaign. I was incorrect, but that's only because I thought the spot above was for the crazy town hall lady's campaign.

This ad starts to suck from the get-go and only goes downhill from there. The first frame is just ... odd:The two Feingolds are distracting. Which one is the viewer supposed to be paying attention to: the Shepard Fairey version or the one speaking on the right? Between the two images and the small text below them, it actually take a few seconds to figure out just to figure out what the hell is going on. By the time everything registers in the brain we get Crazy Pewaukee Lady:What the hell is she doing here? She's not exactly soft on the eyes, her voice is harsh and she's spouting GOP talking points without any attempt to arrange them into a complete sentence. She's not a very good surrogate.

Anger is a delicate thing. Voters are allowed to display their anger, but leaders have to keep their cool. Sure, they can appear to be angry occasionally, but the appropriate circumstances are few and far between. What a politician has to do at all times is to empathize with anger without appearing angry themselves. It's not an easy trick to pull off and Wall certainly doesn't do it here.

The rest of the ad is Wall unmemorably talking to people. It's a negative/positive hybrid ad that fails the first rule of these kinds of spot: make damn sure the audience can delineate where the attack ends and the positive begins. Usually this means 15 seconds of doom and gloom, followed by 15 second of "Candidate X: Saviour del Mundo." That doesn't really happen here.

The frames in the final act of the ad should be bright to juxtapose the grainy file footage of Feingold and Crazy Pewaukee Lady, but they're not. Leading with an exterior shot of Wall in sunlight would have provided a better contrast. Instead we get a dark shot of the candidate nodding his head at a voter whilst talking in a mall food court. The narration and background music also need to change tone, but neither seems to perceptively do so.

Final Grade: D-


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