Monday, September 07, 2009

Michael Ignatieff's Green Screen Challenge

The Liberal party of Canada does not have a great recent track record in political advertising. In the post-Chretien era the ads have been anywhere from over-the-top to well... do you remember the clapping Dion ad? The tradition continues with Michael Ignatieff's Green Screen Challenge. I once heard Warren Kinsella, who is supposed to be an expert, say that you should judge an ad by how it plays on mute. The logic being that nobody actually listens to commercials anymore. The new Ignatieff ads seem to fail Kinesella's test. The only thing you get from the Liberal ads is Iggy talking in front of a green screen and then the new Liberal slogan and logo. Do we deserve better than the Liberal Party of Canada? The French ads are particularly odd because they are basically attack ads that consist of letting Michael Ignatieff attack. Normally, attack ads feature dark images of your opposition followed if necessary by a brief sunny shot of your guy. The key thing is that the mud that gets slung is not seen leaving your guy's hand. Pick any famous attack ad in the last fifty years, that's the pattern. The only other departure that comes to mind are the Harper talk show ads in '04 but he still had 'average' Canadians sling the mud, he just concurred and offered his 'vision'. There are two paradoxical truths about attack ads: 1. Everybody hates them and 2. They work. One of the reasons the paradox holds is that in spite the fact that everybody hates them, they don't necessarily make the connection to the party or politician that made them.


penlan said...

Early days, early ads, Aaron. The ads will change in time & become hard-hitting. Coming out swinging immediately doesn't work. Too reminiscent of 4 years of Con attack ads. And these ads are to familarize the public with Ignatieff.

Dell Laptop Batteries said...

Attack ads will always be wrong, and will always come back to bite the one who puts it out. I think the only reason they work, is because of the same reason that keeps tabloids on the shelves, for some reason people keep on buying them. From Bat-boy to the current sex scandal. People love to see the dirty side or the skeletons in someone's closet.

Anonymous said...

I like this ad the best.

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