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Swift Boat Vets Launch New Ad

The Swifties have a new ad up. This is their biggest media buy at 1.2 million dollars.

I don't find this one is as effective as some of the earlier ones. It is a 30 second spot with a 40 second script. It's too rushed and I don't like the tonal quality of the voice. It is aggressive and I think they needed solemn.

But the biggest problem is the content. It is about Kerry meeting with Communist North Vietnamese leaders in Paris. That's a fine topic but they blow the delivery.

It attempts to be an educational piece but they spend 2 seconds on it. 90% of the viewers have no idea the story is true and therefor it is easily discounted by the people who don't follow this day in and day out. I'd guess 50% of the people who watch it just go, "Huh?"

It is obvious they are looking to use the spot to get "earned media" the problem is the MSM does not want to give them the airtime to begin with and to be frank, there are a lot of things competing for that time. The election is heating up, Kerry is finally settling on a campaign theme that might last a week or two and the debates are right around the corner. Add the CBS debacle to the mess and the big media might not give them the time they expected. Not to mention they are not exactly news like they were a few months ago.

If I would have done the spot, I would have spent 10 seconds telling the viewers the story was true... Let them digest that as a fact and they can convince themselves it is bad, no need for you to pummel them.

I was very impressed with the earlier ads, but I don't think this one will get the bang for the buck unless the big media gives it a push. The fact they are still out there is good and I see no way this can harm Bush. The timing is also good, waiting until after the conventions.

It will be interesting to see how effective the ad proves to be.

Update: I saw the ad on T.V. vs the internet and I thought it worked better on the bigger screen. I still agree with this critique in general but maybe it was better than I gave it credit for.


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Comments (15)

I do not think you need all... (Below threshold)
jmangun:

I do not think you need all the contextual background for this ad to work. the jane fonda comparison is enough. on a gut level; it was much more powerful for me than the others. after seeing it the first time and as a product of that era, i wanted to smack the scumbag son of a b*tch in the mouth. i wish i could vote twice.

I felt exactly as you did, ... (Below threshold)

I felt exactly as you did, Paul, until I watched it a few more times.

I think the point gets across that Kerry did something devious. That followed by 'refused to apologize' and 'BETRAYED HIS COUNTRY' plants the seed in the viewrs mind that Kerry is a bit slimy. The Fonda comparison sets it up well.

Really, a 30 second spot needs to deal with emotion more than information.

I think it works.

Actually, I think the lack ... (Below threshold)
OneDrummer:

Actually, I think the lack of contextual background helps this ad. So what about Kerry in France with the NVA?... bottom line message was that he was in cahoots with Hanoi Jane back then, she apologized to the vets, he didn't. End of story. Constrasting his behavior with that of Fonda's is damning to this 39 year old. (yes, what he did in France was awful too...)

This dovetails nicely with his remarks to Russert about not apologizing to his fellow veterans for his actions years ago.....

Great ad. The best so far. ... (Below threshold)

Great ad. The best so far. In being a bit vague it may play into the swiftvets hands, in that people may ask questions that kerry don't want to answer.

Great ad. The best so far. ... (Below threshold)

Great ad. The best so far. In being a bit vague it may play into the swiftvets hands, in that people may ask questions that kerry don't want to answer.

IT IS FABULOUS. VERY EFFEC... (Below threshold)
-S-:

IT IS FABULOUS. VERY EFFECTIVE. EFFICIENT.

CAPs intended.

I too agree with Paul that ... (Below threshold)

I too agree with Paul that is was not as effective as it could have been. I think they should have included Paul O'Neil's quote:

"It would be like an American today meeting with the heads of al Qaeda."

Now that would have been powerful!

I like the ad. I get the me... (Below threshold)

I like the ad. I get the message loud and clear: Kerry is a traitor. In fact, he's still doing it: undermining our troops in Iraq. BTW, Gen. Tommy Franks sent out a press release yesterday basically calling Kerry a liar. For instance, Kerry's assertion that we pulled troops from Afghanistan is bullsh*t, according to Gen. Franks. But his press release received very little media attention. What a shock.

I thought much the same - t... (Below threshold)

I thought much the same - that it was too agressive, too over the top (with the betrayed line) - but then I watched it yesterday with a colleague who served in the 101st Airborne in Vietnam. He couldn't have been more emphatic - this ad hit him hard and he shared his very personal views about Mr. Kerry.

I don't think that I, at 29, can really gauge how effective this ad will be with older voters - but I think it'll be much better with them than I.

Swift Boat Vets, who are th... (Below threshold)
Dave:

Swift Boat Vets, who are they? They are not relevant anymore, their effectiveness has run its course except for partisans who have already made up their minds.

The news media has moved on to Iraq as the central issue. Now you can argue that is good for GWB but not the Swift Boat ads.

JMHO

Swift Boat Vets, who are th... (Below threshold)
Dave:

Swift Boat Vets, who are they? They are not relevant anymore, their effectiveness has run its course except for partisans who have already made up their minds.

The news media has moved on to Iraq as the central issue. Now you can argue that is good for GWB but not the Swift Boat ads.

JMHO

Are the Swift Boat Vets irr... (Below threshold)

Are the Swift Boat Vets irrelevant now?

Possibly, but I'll say this.

Before the SBV story broke in the MSM, a Google News search for Kerry Swift Boat yielded about 2000 hits. I've been checking daily as an idle hobby, and watched it slowly climb to a peak of 13,800 about a week ago. It's now down to 12,300. So maybe it's crested, but it's hardly gone away.

For what it's worth.

Harvey,Out of shee... (Below threshold)
Dave:

Harvey,

Out of sheer curiosity of what they were saying and who they are I went to their site last week. I like to know what my adversaries are up to so I can re-but them to my sphere of influence.

Number of hits is a guage but not a very good one for determining the current effect on the election and public opinion.

Don't get me wrong, they definitely did hurt John Kerry but the worst is over from their effect.

Harvey,Out of shee... (Below threshold)
Dave:

Harvey,

Out of sheer curiosity of what they were saying and who they are I went to their site last week. I like to know what my adversaries are up to so I can re-but them to my sphere of influence.

Number of hits is a guage but not a very good one for determining the current effect on the election and public opinion.

Don't get me wrong, they definitely did hurt John Kerry but the worst is over from their effect.

There was an artical just o... (Below threshold)
Dave:

There was an artical just out on Zogby that in general said that the SBVFT overall backfired. While it worked for a while during the intense press coverage. When things settled down, independents were 2-1 not swayed, and Democrat/Republican partisans were more motivated to support their respective candidate by an approximate 2-1 margin (21%-13%).

As I maintained before additional ads from SBVFT are a waste of money.

Dave (the other one)




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