Sunday, October 12, 2008

Election ’08 Ad Watch: Subtle Micro-Targeting



Initial Reaction: So much for "the economy is strong".

Ad Intent: Duh.

Tag Line: Stephane Dion. Not Worth the Risk.

Things that Work: This one gets the message across and plays on what has become the only issue of the campaign - the economy, specifically, economic uncertainty.

Things that Don't: I can't find any glaring problems with it, but that's what the comments section is for. Earlier in the campaign, this one would have been easily spoofable, but I'm not sure there's time left for that now.

Ad Buy: I'm going to go out on a limb and predict that this one gets more air time on soap operas, than on football games.

Cliche Score: A little girl is always worth a point. A little girl drawing has to be worth at least 2.

Who Would Have Thought... that the only ad of the whole campaign to use an actual kitchen table would be a Tory one, rather than an NDP one?

Grade: B+
I was expecting a nastier "bomb the bridge" attack from the Tories over the last week, but this should be fairly effective. It gets the Tory message out and plays on the mood of Canadians. It's not flashy and won't grab anyone, but this is a better way to go than cheesy scratch and win ads.

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11 Comments:

  • The Ottawa Citizen just did a reality check on the Liberal ad about Chretien keeping us out of the war in Iraq:

    http://www.canada.com/components/print.aspx?id=b1b3ced1-0094-4b9f-86fd-30a855fd5d53&sponsor=

    By Blogger wilson, at 1:11 PM  

  • Wow. That ad really didn't speak to me - and it should have, given that it was targeting women.

    They really need voices that sound natural, and not forced or stilted. And actors that don't look stiff. She's had a tough day at work so it's dinner time. She's standing in the kitchen but no one else is cooking, so I guess she's stuck doing that. Clearly the daughter has been home that day since she's coloring and didn't come in the door with mom, so some other adult is home too. But no one comes to greet her when she gets home. She doesn't take off her jacket (bet she's still wearing her shoes too!), she doesn't do any of the things you or I would do at the end of the day when we're tired and it's time to make dinner now. Instead, she does a lot of noble staring into space.

    I wasn't thinking any of that through as I watched the video, but it felt wrong. And that's why.

    By Anonymous Deanna, at 1:31 PM  

  • This comment has been removed by the author.

    By Blogger Joseph, at 1:41 PM  

  • I'm with Deanna. Though not a woman, I had a mother.

    Perhaps the ad will appeal to the demographic they were going after (affluent). But the vibe of the ad is more "Will we have to join a nanny-share and fire our live-in nanny?" than "Will I be able to heat the home this winter?"

    So I think they are missing a lot of other voters - a lot.

    By Blogger Joseph, at 1:44 PM  

  • I figure that I`m the demographic they`re going after--urban and suburban middleclass moms--and the ad does nothing for me. To begin with, the woman`s voice is a bit odd...she pauses at the wrong olaces. The ad just doesn`t seem to flow properly.

    Secondly, it`s hard to believe that a woman in that nice a kitchen can be so worried about the economy. Maybe she`s got a huge mortgage and maxed-out credit cards that have paid for everything. In any event, it makes me think, Hmmm...my kitchen`s nowhere near as nice, but I would still be willing to pay a bit more in tax to protect the environment for my children.

    By Blogger Mary Lynn, at 2:14 PM  

  • I noticed an inconsistency. The upper-right cabinet door is sometimes open, sometimes closed.

    Damn you, CG! You've got me obsessively scrutinizing every detail of these election ads! :)

    And this isn't the only kitchen-table ad. The Tories ran a French one at the beginning of the campaign with some of their Quebec MPs chatting during breakfast.

    By Blogger Mike514, at 3:45 PM  

  • 1. If Harper used his kids as political props a bit more often (so they were recognizable to most people), I wonder if they could have made the ad better by making the colouring girl look more like Harper's daughter.

    2. Eew NDP kitchen tables are gross, and splattered with whatever is in KD.

    By Blogger hosertohoosier, at 3:59 PM  

  • Hellooooo! Is there anyone minding the shop?

    Harper has been running a one-man campaign. He hasn't (one spokesman) been able to effectively answer the opposition attacks. Quebec is the clear example.

    Now, harper has refused to have any more press conferences. Who's the spokesperson for the CPC on Sunday and Monday? Is anyone minding the shop?

    By Blogger JimTan, at 6:05 PM  

  • I'm another of those women that the ad is theoretically supposed to be targeted towards, and it doesn't work for me either. The absolutely quiet house is pretty spooky (apparently she works, and has just gotten home- I don't know anyone's kids who are sitting there peacefully drawing at the table five minutes after Mom walks in the door).

    Most of the working moms that I know, when they think about the economy, seem to be a lot more worried about daycare than what Stephan Dion may or may not do about carbon taxes. I don't think that many of them have forgotten the laughable $100/month instead of a workable day care system- it certainly seems to be a talking point among my circle of friends, at least.

    By Blogger Jen, at 6:54 AM  

  • CG, you still haven't made an endorsement this election. Might I make a suggestion?

    Dorian Baxter would be Canada's first Kenyan-born Elvis-impersonating Ordained Anglican minister MP. Considering he is running in Belinda Stronach's riding, I think his pedigree would help give Newmarket-Aurora a more serious representative in government.

    By Blogger hosertohoosier, at 10:08 PM  

  • I'll tell you what's wrong... the tiny tube TV hanging from a wall mount... I'm sorry but if you have enough money for granite counter tops you're not going to have a cheap TV hanging in your kitchen. It's just not beliveable.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:06 PM  

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