Wednesday, August 13, 2008One place where the Obama campaign has patently failed to break new ground is in political advertising. Most political ads - particularly by Democrats - are just terrible. They're full of rapid cuts, and lists of disjointed arguments, and the ads are usually one-offs, failing to cohere into a broader picture. Obama poured millions into states against Hillary Clinton and lost them, and his ads have failed to make much of a dent against McCain. It's the biggest weakness in his campaign operations, and so far I don't see much change. At the moment it's easy to see Obama's campaigns being run by Kerry or Gore or any old Senate campaign.
It doesn't have to be this way. For all his (multitude) of sins, Eliot Spitzer's gubernatorial campaign in 2006 was a sight to see. The ads were emotional, simple, and memorable, and they all hung together in a single storyline. They were really top-notch, and I don't know why everyone doesn't learn from them.
I'm not saying Obama's going to lose because his ads are so-so - I just think he's missing an opportunity. So far in this cycle the best ads I've seen are the independent web ads by volunteers - the ones nobody sees. The political professionals? I suspect they don't know a thing about advertising.