Thursday, April 18, 2013

On the "Wisdom" of Not Running Attack Ads

If you haven't seen them yet, and I don't know how you couldn't have, the Conservative attack ads are hilariously stupid. Warren Kinsella thinks they're effective, and he may be right - however the backlash so far has been almost uniformly negative, and its pretty clear it has galvanized our base rather than caused them to stop and think. The issue is our base is pretty damn small - its those outside of it we need to worry about, and these ads could have an effect.

Which brings us to Justin Trudeau's tact to "stay positive." I agree, on a certain level, that we shouldn't stoop to the level of a pissing match. We don't need to heap more negativity onto Harper, the man is already unpopular. What we need to do is promote a positive vision, Justin's vision, so people will see we're the constructive party with momentum, not the party desperately flailing about as their numbers continue to plummet.

However, we can't rest on our laurels. I'm not sure if Trudeau has decided to run ads or not, but there has been no indication so far that he will - that is a bad, bad move. Justin's charisma and good looks are not enough to save us from being tarred and feathered even more by Canadians. People will listen to the Conservative's nonsense, and they'll turn to our side and hear crickets. What message does that send? Its like we're simply acceding to the Cons that they're going to win the ad war - it doesn't need to be that way!

So, I'll make some inquiries and give it some time. If Trudeau moves to put out some ads, whether attack or positive, he'll get a pass from me. I just want to see something.

However, if nothing comes out, we're going to have a problem on our hands. Justin won that leadership race on the basis of his personality and charisma, on the idea that he appealed to Canadians. Squandering the chance to counteract the Conservative smear campaign, which will have an effect, is not the sign of a good start to his leadership, and a near betrayal of those who elected him. Get on it, Liberals!

10 comments:

  1. "So, I'll make some inquiries"

    Please do (and report back!), that we've heard nothing (official or unofficial) in that regard concerns me a great deal.

    Quite frankly I put JT at the top of my ticket because I thought (and for now continue to think) that he's a fighter. But if they won't even put a positive defining ad out and are content to just surrender the early effort to the Tories... well let's just say I wouldn't have put him so high on my list.

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    1. I felt the same way about Trudeau, I supported him - at least in theory, I put MHF up top for a sympathy vote - because I expected action. Action I have yet to see, and its concerning.

      However, before I act more important than I am, my "inquiries" amount to sending an e-mail to Trudeau, the Executive, and some of the party insiders I know who may have some info. Not exactly outside of anyone else's abilities! I would suggest sending out emails as well, especially to Trudeau and the Executive members, to make them aware that we're concerned about this seeming lack of action.

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    2. Hey, that's more then I got. I know a few riding association people but no one higher up the food chain (and I wouldn't call them insiders) and I know an old guard guy but he's effectively "retired" and isn't in the know anymore.

      Really they ought to create a positive ad, even if they don't want to do a full court buy they could could just run it in limited markets and let the national news media carry it for free (along with YouTube) and use it to solicite donations so that the ad pays for itself.

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    3. That would be the bare minimum of what I'd like to see, but even that is way more than what they did in Dion and Iggy's days.

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  2. The Liberals have the money now to run ads and even enough to do a full court buy. So what is the reluctance to run ads, even positive ads promoting Trudeau?

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    1. I don't know. There may be zero reluctance, they're just refusing to tell us. Thats why we'll have to wait and see.

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  3. Well it takes a little time to do the creative, and seriously, you do not buy advertisements without a solid grip on what you are trying to acheive. They cost real money. That means a strategy and campaign. And yes, it would be nice to have the ads harvesting $$ and supporters. I honestly do not think that they are resting on their laurels when they fail to come up with a full blown campaign within a few days of the leadership race ending.....

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    1. Oh, of course! I never wished to imply anything different. Thing is, they're not mentioning that they have "a plan" - Justin is just saying he'll stay positive, but nothing else. We'll wait and see what happens, as that is all we can do.

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  4. The party should pick it's own direction on strategy. "No attack ads" does not mean "No attack ads". Remember that Green Party attack ad on how all the other parties do attack ads, but the greens will be positive?

    This attack ad: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j-GekKKNUTU for anyone who needs a refresher.

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