Thursday, March 31, 2011

Ad Watch: Ignatieff Gets Personal

A series of new Liberal ads have hit the airwaves.

In the first, Ignatieff talks a bit about his past, and ties it in to the Liberals' just launched pension policy:

Then, Ignatieff responds to the Tory attack ads...just 2 short years after they first aired:

Finally, my favourite of the three, and the one I'll ask you to grade. Of everything we've seen from the Liberal platform so far, Family Care is my favourite plank. It's easy to understand and it connects to voters at the personal level - after all, who doesn't have an aging or sick relative?

And, like the policy, this ad connects at the personal level, with Ignatieff talking about his mother's battle with Alzheimer's. For a guy who has been portrayed as an alien in Tory attack ads, this will do a lot to humanize him. It shows the Liberals value family and it shows Ignatieff values family.

How would you grade this ad?
See Results

And if you didn't get a chance to grade the latest round of NDP commercials, just click here.

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  • These are excellent ads, that not only sell pretty popular policies, but also showcase Ignatieff well (even if I don't personally believe he was ever worried about his lack of a pension). In 2008, Dion lost because he relied on an exclusively negative message (I counted 11 negative ads and 1 positive one on the Liberal site at one point), without also offering a compelling vision of his own (he stopped talking about the Green shift fairly early on).

    Incidentally, have you seen the latest Nanos poll? Harper is at 39%, but Ignatieff has closed the gap to under 7 points, while also surpassing Layton's leadership numbers for the first time in ages.

    By Blogger french wedding cat, at 11:16 a.m.  

  • I like these ads as well.

    They remind of me Apple's various Mac campaigns (Jeff Goldblum, switch, "Hi, I'm a Mac..."): just a guy talking in front of a white background. The campaign seems like a more refined version of those "Narnia" ads. And I think Ignatieff's image problem is less of a personality issue, and more that people don't know him (whereas Harper, Layton, and Duceppe have been running elections for the past million years). If Ignatieff is going to strike a chord with voters, I think it's going to be through cultivating this kind of image: a calm, thoughtful communicator, not the guy in the House of Commons yelling for Bev Oda's resignation.

    I actually think the slideshow detracts from ad no. 1, but in fairness, it's a 60-second ad. That can be a lot of time to stare at one person.

    I like number two a lot. It's my favourite. Frankly, it's a better anti-attack ad than the Green Party's TV one.

    Number three is actually my least favourite, but I still like it overall. The message is too complicated for a 30-second ad, I think. For example, I missed "paid" in the "paid time off" part, so my first thought was, "Yeah, sure I can take care off my ill relatives too, by quitting my job!"

    On your poll, I'd give them an A. (I'd really give them an A-minus, but it's closer to A than B-plus, certainly.)

    By Blogger Unknown, at 11:45 a.m.  

  • I disagree with Daniel on number 3. I think anyone who is in the situation of having to care for a loved one knows exactly what they're talking about. I have high hopes for that one.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:49 a.m.  

  • So their policy is to end sentences with prepositions?

    By Blogger Robert Vollman, at 12:05 p.m.  

  • In some message, whether its on the stump or in local advertising, it should be noted that the CONs proposed that people use up their holidays to care for their sick family members...

    By Blogger rockfish, at 2:17 p.m.  

  • I think the third ad is the best of the bunch.

    He opens himself up as an "ordinary Canadian" (and I loathe using that term) with something people can easily relate to by providing his own personal experience.

    It's geunine and people can immediately see that.

    By Anonymous Deputy Dan, at 2:35 p.m.  

  • They should have run the secone one as soon as the Tories attacked him. They waited too long to respond.

    By Anonymous CJS, at 4:35 p.m.  

  • Oh Robert...

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:18 p.m.  

  • A random thought... how much of a low blow would it be to point out that Ignatieff wasn't in Canada when his mother was dying from alzheimer's, or that it was his brother Andrew that cared for her?

    By Blogger french wedding cat, at 8:38 p.m.  

  • That's not really a random thought.

    A random thought would be "I wonder how many prime ministers had a last name that started with a vowel" or maybe "Gee his eyebrows are hairy."

    By Blogger Robert Vollman, at 9:55 p.m.  

  • In seriousness, the theme of #1 and #3 seems to be "the government should be there when you need them."

    The real question is "should the government be there when you don't?"

    All Canadian agree on the first question, but not the second.

    Unfortunately all parties currently agree on both questions - Yes to both.

    By Blogger Robert Vollman, at 12:06 a.m.  

  • RV... I don't think all Canadians agree on the first question.

    This isn't because they think the government shouldn't be there, but because they disagree on what it should be there for.

    If you think, for example, your government should be there for you with a state-run daycare program, it isn't hard to find people who disagree.

    By Blogger saphorr, at 11:26 a.m.  

  • I still think the Liberals are missing the boat by not taking the position that they are the strongest party on the economy.

    They have Harper and Flaherty on video in multiple occasions completely wrong about the recession and the deficit. All they have to do is show Flaherty's figures compared to Kevin Pages. Then show who was right.

    They can also point out the banking regulations which kept our economy in good shape came from the previous Liberal government.

    People say they'll vote Conservative because they think they can better handle the economy which when you look at the numbers is a total myth. The Liberals have to address this.

    By Anonymous Big Tuna, at 12:51 p.m.  

  • I believe Big Tuna has a really valid point.

    So does H2H.

    The part about Ignatieff bemoaning his "lack of pension" is pretty nauseas.

    My biggest surprise so far... Harper's so pissed off and angry in his campaign. I generally hold to the idea that "the candidate in the best mood wins"; so far, surprisingly, that's Ignatieff. I remember clearly 5 years ago Paul Wells predicting that Harper's anger would be his downfall. We'll see in 4 weeks.

    By Blogger Jacques Beau Vert, at 4:57 p.m.  

  • I like all three ads as they help to change the picture on Ignatieff and two address important key issues.
    However I agree with the previous two comments that the Liberals need to attack the idea that the Conservatives are the better economic managers. I was throwing something at the TV(yes I watched it in those days) when Martin didn't run on his economic record in his last election.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:31 p.m.  

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