Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Election '08 Ad Watch: Jack Attaque

I don't intend to review all the Quebec ads that come out this campaign since, by most of the definitions offered, I'm not a member of the Quebec nation. I will do a quick overview of them at some point, if only to get an idea of the Quebec strategies the parties are using.

But the NDP "Bush Ad" is just so darn impressive that it's worth taking a look at.

First Impressions: And I thought the new Batman movie was dark...

Ad Intent: Harper = Bush = scary

Tagline: Le Pouvoir de Changer

Things that work: It's incredibly powerful with great imagery guaranteed to make you take notice and give you chills - some of the effects are almost subliminal (watch the little kid's head explode at the 5 second mark). It attacks Harper on the issues where he's vulnerable and there doesn't appear to have been much of a "they've gone too far" backlash.

Things that don’t work: Very little, except for the one knock I'll mention when I grade it.

Soldiers in our Cities with Guns: The black and white, larger than life leaders, soldiers, and tanks, gave me a strong "World War 2 Newsflash" vibe. I'm thinking that was probably intentional.

Do You Like Handcuffs: A pair of shackled hands appear as the image under the words "esclave des petrolieres".

Cliché Score: 3 (The Harper-Bush comparison is worth a point. The black and white in an attack ad is worth a point. The military imagery is worth a point.)

Grade: A-
It's an A+ ad on it's own. Still, I need to dock them some marks because I'm not convinced the NDP are actually fighting the Tories for votes in Quebec. NDP votes will come more from the Bloc, so it's debatable how much this will actually help them.

Reader Grade:

How Would You Rate This Ad?
See Results

Previous Ads: See the softer side of Steve, Bad actors love Harper, Jack Attack, THE Green Shift, Viva Los Vegas



  • You know, I've seen this and never noticed the kid's head at 5secs, good eyes.

    I don't buy the Harper=Bush line at all (nobody can equal Bush) but yes, I have to say, it is an effective ad, no doubt.

    By Blogger Jason Bo Green, at 6:56 PM  

  • The ad will only appeal to those who would never vote CPC in a million years. If you think its cool to riot in the streets at a G8 meeting or wonder if you can afford another tattoo on your ass, this ad is for you

    The ad is too overt in its "we think you are stupid enough to believe this" schtick to appeal to a broad audience. In fact, for ordinary people, it will be as counter productive as the Liberals "Guns in our Streets" ad from last go-round.

    Very high in NDP smug value, but they are just preaching to their own choir . . . just money spent where it is snot needed.

    By Blogger Fred, at 7:32 PM  

  • This ad could attract those who don't want to vote for the Bloc but are undecided if they should vote for the Conservatives or NDP.

    This ad is definitely an attention getter. It does have a pleasant Jack at the end.

    I will give it an A for sure.

    By Blogger Skinny Dipper, at 7:40 PM  

  • I'm not sure it'll be counter productive like "Guns in our streets"... people sort of expect the NDP to be less professional than they do the Liberals. But, you may certainly be right - it'll be interesting to see.

    By Blogger Jason Bo Green, at 7:54 PM  

  • Maybe I'm quibbling here, but I don't think the NDP has to be "actually fighting the Tories for votes in Quebec" in order for an attack on Harper to help them. If all I knew for sure was that I didn't want to vote Conservative, but was still undecided on the alternative, I might be drawn to whoever mounted the best anti-Conservative attack.

    By Blogger - K, at 7:59 PM  

  • well

    what is certainly ironic is IF the NDP succeed in taking some of Duceppe's vote, especially outside Montreal, all they will be doing is electing Conservatives.

    They are really getting good at this...

    By Blogger Antonio, at 11:55 PM  

  • This ad is aimed at Green, Bloc and Liberal voters, not Conservative voters. The 25-30% of Quebec that will vote Conservative is anti-gay marriage etc.

    The ad presents Quebec politics in left-right terms, rather than federalist-sovereigntist - the conservatives are evil and right wing... hmmm what party is the least evil and right wing?

    By Blogger hosertohoosier, at 1:37 AM  

  • It is worth stressing as well that the ridings the NDP is contesting are Montreal ridings where the Conservatives are a non-entity. This is all part of Layton presenting himself as the "real leader of the opposition".

    By Blogger hosertohoosier, at 1:39 AM  

  • Thank God! Bob Rae scores in Nova Scotia. There is hope!


    By Blogger JimTan, at 1:49 AM  

  • h2h - I kind of see where you're coming from on that, but if I'm in a Liberal seat in Montreal that might turn into a Liberal-NDP race and I get scared shitless of Harper, I'm not sure I'd see changing my vote to the NDP as the best way to stop him, given their traditional poor showing in Quebec.

    But, yeah, framing it as a left-right thing might be an indirect shot at the lefty voters on the Bloc. "We're the left wing party".

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 2:13 AM  

  • what is certainly ironic is IF the NDP succeed in taking some of Duceppe's vote, especially outside Montreal, all they will be doing is electing Conservatives.

    Ah geez, looks like Antonio's bitter that Layton's not taking one for the Liberals. Too bad.

    By Blogger Jason Bo Green, at 8:18 AM  

  • Of course, if the NDP drains off some Bloc vote from those close Lib/Bloc races, they might help get some Liberals elected. (including Antonio's buddy Trudeau)

    That's why I'm fairly sure if that if the Libs just hold their 2006 vote, they can pick up a few seats.

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 2:57 PM  

  • Interesting scenario - you may be right on that.

    By Blogger Jason Bo Green, at 3:47 PM  

  • Ads like this are exactly why the NDP can't pass the Liberals in the polls.

    Nobody is going to take these strange analogies seriously. Smilin Jack is tossing a bone to his base with this.

    By Anonymous tjk, at 5:25 PM  

  • It's a good NDP ad, but if it came from the Liberals, I'd imagine the criticism would be that it is over-the-top.

    That said, looks good on the NDP.

    By Blogger le politico, at 5:34 PM  

  • I went to get the anti-trudeau paraphenilia from those jeunes patriotes people

    they are all crackers, but I have to admit, the stuff is pretty entertaining.

    The Bloc is putting all their montreal effort into defeating trudeau. so if it doesnt work, and it probably wont, the Bloc is really gonna get their ass kicked.

    By Blogger Antonio, at 4:40 PM  

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