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Ad Watch: Ignatieff Gets Personal

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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.



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

Ad Watch: Going After the Tim Hortons Crowd

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Actually, that should read “Tim Hortons Crowding“:

Personally, I don’t really like the ad, but it strikes me as one that could work.

The ad is on an issue voters care about. It’s got Jack sounding confident in front of a big flag. Plus, attack ads done in a “cartoon style” like this seem less mean than grainy black and white photos – that’s why the Dippers used a “chalk attack” in 2008.

It’s not fancy. It certainly won’t win any awards. But it gets the message across, which is what it’s supposed to do.

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Le Quebec a le pouvoir de changer les choses

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Michael Ignatieff reminds us that he was the one who plunged us into the very unpleasant “nation” debate:

Ad Watch

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Last election, I stuck up a slew of polls asking readers here to rate commercials released throughout the campaign. For those wanting a nostalgic trip down memory lane, the highest rated commercials can be seen here.

Since we may very well be into a campaign in a mater of weeks days, it’s time to play ad wizzard yet again. So I invite everyone here to rate the recent round of pre-election ads. Use whatever criteria you want to judge what makes a “good” ad but, remember, the objective of these commercials is to move votes towards the party running them.

NDP: Backing Down And Loving It



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Conservatives: The Land is Strong



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Conservatives: Tax Attack



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Greens: Meta Attack Ad



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And so it begins…

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With a spring election highly possible (70% possible according to well placed and shockingly anonymous sources), the air war has started, with new NDP and Conservative ads released today.

The NDP ads start with “average Canadians” raising an issue – it’s a cute trick, since it shows Jack responding directly to Canadians. There are BC and Ontario-specific HST ads, along with this one:

So if you’re keeping track, Jack is now in his “making parliament work” mood. For those of you without your Parliament Hill decoder rings at home, “making parliament work”, “putting partisan games aside”, and “getting results” (for people?) can all be translated loosely as “rolling over”. Of course, even if Jack wants a way out, he still needs Harper to offer him one or we’ll be in an election campaign by month’s end.

And judging from the CPC ad buy (which has included Superbowl and Oscar commercials), they’re very much ready for that. The latest from our Conservative friends includes a surprisingly policy-related attack ad going after Ignatieff on corporate taxes.

There’s also a positive spot where you can see Steve playing the piano, see Steve in a hard hat, and see Steve visiting world leaders. Oh, and there’s a $16 billion dollar F-35 fly over:

Counter Punch

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After a slew of Tory ads on Monday, the Liberals have countered with a pair of their own.

Yes, these are attack ads – dark, both in colour and message. But it’s a substantiated attack. Harper IS bringing in a corporate tax cut and he IS buying the fighter jets. Those are facts. There are certainly valid reasons for making both decisions, but that’s the debate we should be having. Contrast that to the Tory ads which were nothing more than drive-by-smears on Ignatieff. Or, for that matter, some of the character assassinations the Liberals tried on Harper in past elections.

As for the ads themselves, they’ll sink or swim on the issues they discuss, but they’re certainly well produced. The flying jets and sound effects get your attention (remember the car honk at the end of those great CPC ads in the ’06 campaign), as do the coloured dollar signs up against a grey background.

Of the two, I think the corporate tax ad is more powerful. The rising cost of living line is something everyone can relate to (first seen last week). It’s easy to grasp the idea of a big tax cut for corporations (notice the stretch limo) at a time when you’re having trouble making ends meet (notice the frustrated family). Probably more so than spending on military planes which we may or may not need.

So, on the whole, a very strong response from the Liberals.

Soyons Clair – Nous n’aimons pas Michael Ignatieff

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Yesterday, I looked at the new round of Conservative attack ads en anglais. Today, a look at the four new French ads – a rare glimpse of Harper’s Quebec strategy which, let’s be honest, never really lived up to expectations.

Since everyone has gone all nostalgic for 2006, let’s remember that Harper picked up 10 seats and 25% of the vote in Quebec that campaign. Since then? He usually polls in the teens and one of the few safe seats in the province is held by an MP who goes rogue more often than Sarah Palin.

So what’s the plan to turn it around?

Faire face au défi: Like the English version, this ad emphasizes Harper’s steady hand in turbulent times – clearly, this will be the Tory pitch in both official languages.

Sadly, it’s a frame for frame replica of the Enligh one – I was really hoping the Beatles mug would be replaced with a Roch Voisine one or something. The only distinctiveness going to the Quebec nation is a slightly different job figure:

On the same vein, “fardeau fiscal” is really just a french version of the tax attack.

There are, however, two distinct ads:

This one features Liberals Justin Trudeau, Nancy Charest, and (surprise!) Denis Coderre bad mouthing Ignatieff. The Trudeau clip is from the ’06 leadership – I pointed out how ridiculous it was to use that clip when the Tories ran version 1.0 of this ad in 2009. This time around, all I’ll say is that telling Quebecers someone named Trudeau and someone named Charest don’t like Ignatieff might actually do wonders to help Iggy in La Belle Province.

The final ad is the most interesting of the four:

In it, Duceppe is attacked as being “too Montreal” – I’m sure Larry Smith can’t wait for this one to air. The tag line of “notre region au pouvoir” is more proof the Tories will be running a very regional campaign in Quebec…and that region won’t be Montreal.

As part of the NDP’s always consistent climate change strategy

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A new NDP commercial hits the airwaves. In it, Jack Layton complains that Stephen Harper gave a tax break to big polluters…then follows it up with a promise to cut taxes on pollution.

Cover Up

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New Liberal radio ads out:

The Green Jobs of Tomorow Today

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