Thursday, July 15, 2010

Ads of the Damned: Ron Johnson, "Tipping Point"

Talk about a chorus of dog whistles...

We've noted in the past how the phrase "tipping point" has become something of a buzz word among fiscal conservatives, largely thanks to its dedicated use by Paul Ryan. Then there's "inter-generational theft," a popular talking point among tea partiers. It's a fine phrase if one only has two words to describe the plot of the "Back to the Future" trilogy, but not so much budget policy.

The rest of the script is charecteristically light on specifics and heavy on generalizations. The "experiment we call American" is a very nice phrase for a high school civics teacher ... "lose the idea and promise of America" -- what does that mean: are we doomed to a post-apocalyptic Thunderdome-esque hellscape or are we going to end up like, I don't know ... say, Norway?

The ads visuals are rather mundane. We get more factory shots of Johnson wearing his safety goggles and some stock footage of a family who clearly just failed the final in American Dream 101. Ayn Rand, whose influence on Johnson himself has called "foundational," would have scoffed at this family of underachievers and muttered under her breathe "Fuck 'em."

The only most interesting detail of the spot is Johnson location as he speaks directly into the camera. It looks he standing on the shore of Lake Winnebago, in Menominee Park across the channel from what is locally known as Monkey Island. It's a very picturesque and -- dare I say -- eco-friendly backdrop. I can't help but wonder how much of the call to shoot at that location was due to it just being a very scenic locale where Johnson felt comfortable vs. an effort to take some of the edge off of Democratic attacks linking Johnson to BP ... and by that I mean the BP stock attacks and not the most recent drilling in the Great Lakes attacks -- this ad was shot before Feingold released "Just Say No."

All in all, it's an OK, but entirely forgettable ad.

Final Grade: C

No comments: