Second Thots

Sometimes one has to step back, take pause, and have some "second thots"

Monday, February 12, 2007


Ontario Tories decide to run REVERSE attack ads

In stark contrast to what's happening on the federal political scene, where you have an incumbent party trying to define an opposition leader with attack ads, the exact opposite is happening at the provincial level in Ontario. Specifically, the John Tory Tories have decided to run their own ads, but these clearly try to define John Tory before the McGuinty Liberals get around to it.

Are they effective?

The one ad about being a compassionate type of leader is clearly meant to distance Tory from the Harris years. That's probably a good idea, since McGuinty will want to tie him to that regime as much as possible.

All three ads are touchy-feely and involve personal testimonials about the kind of guy, businessman, and politician that John Tory is. Most importantly, the testimonials come from people with credentials outside of politics. In other words, are you going to believe respected members of the community, or Liberals whose job it is to say anything to get power, like they did the last time?

The intent is similar to the federal Tory attack ads, but in reverse. Instead forcing people to take a second more skeptical look at Dion, these ads ask viewers to take a first and positive look at John Tory.

The question then becomes: are they as effective as negative ads tend to be? Probably not. However, as with the Dion ads, if they can lay down a foundation that will be hard for opponents to rebut down the road, then these ads will have done their job.

These ads want you to feel good about John Tory as a "different kind of leader," and in that respect, they probably don't do that bad a job.

The criticism of Tory is that he's not putting forth policy. However, as with the federal ads, this is about trying to define someone as a leader, so that when policy does come out, you already have a sense of who it is that's proposing it.

Well, at least some ad agencies are making a killing right now. They're winning out regardless of how effective any of these ads are.

Making the blogging rounds:

Commercial #1: Robbin' Hood

Commercial #2: I won't promise NOT to raise your taxes:


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