Saturday, July 17, 2010

Ads of the Damned: Russ Feingold, "Just Say No"

This ad, ladies and gentlemen, is why Russ Feingold wins elections.

The ad is enhanced by just about every detail:

1.) It's shot on location in what looks like Sheboygan. No stock footage.

2.) "One opponent, Ron Johnson..." This is hilarious -- a subtle insult that pushes Johnson down from GOP front-runner status and makes him appear to be just another candidate no more special than Westlake or even Ernest Pagels.

3.) Transposing the oil slick from the Gulf Coast to Lake Michigan is great way to induce a little fear, a sentiment the ad is clearly preying on.

4.) Notice how Feingold focuses on the economic damage a potential oil spill could do and not explicitly on the environmental aspects.

5.) Even the way Feingold inflects the word "oil" draws attention to the central theme of the ad.

6.) Russ ends the spot using the word "tradition." Generally speaking, that's a word that is used to appeal to conservatives. Not only does that ad assert a policy position while undercutting his opponent's argument, but he's also reaching out to right-of-center voters.

Lastly, and perhaps most important of all, is that this is an attack ad. Make no mistake about it. The tone of the ad, however, doesn't really feel negative. There are no photoshopped pictures of Johnson, no menacing narrators. It lacks all the hallmarks of your standard negative ad while still being hard-hitting.

Final Grade: A

No comments: