Monday, January 17, 2011

Attacking Attack Ads

There seems to be some buzz in the blogosphere today about some new Conservative "attack ads" as some people don't like negative advertising in our "political media" cycles. In a perfect world I might be inclined to agree with you, but it is not a perfect world and I measure right and wrong by what works and what doesn't work. Granted there is a precedence where if you go too negative, it can back fire. Paul Martin and Scotty Reid circa 2006 is a great example, when they released an ad suggesting that Stephen Harper would take the military and invade our major cities. It was a ridiculous ad and only hurt the Liberals. Even the CBC parodied the Liberal attack ads with bits like "Stephen Harper wants to put a giant laser on the moon and carve his initials in Greenland."

The guest host of Power Play today went nuts on this subject. From a marketing perspective, I think these latest Tory ads are brilliant. They are playing back Iggy's own words with commentary and music. Will they be effective? Conservative polling numbers have been very stable for the past year, with the Liberals and Dippers swinging up and down. These ads aren't likely to move the overall numbers up or down, but they should help keep Ignatieff's personal likability numbers low. Right now the biggest obstacle for the Liberal Party is that a large majority of Canadians just don't like their leader. I don't know how many Canadians will even see these ads, but I doubt that anyone will watch them and suddenly decide they like Iggy.

Personally my favourite wasn't about Iggy, but NDP ambition. It cracked me up in agreement.


  1. This series of ads is political propagandizing at it's best,complete with a memorable "catch phrase","he didn't come back for YOU"!

    Beautiful,the only problems the Liberals have with it is THEY didn't think it up first!

    Everyone hates attack ads if they work for the other guy, but LOVE 'em if they work for their side.

    I'm right in the middle,enjoying the entertainment while swilling my beer and gulping my popcorn!

    May the best advertising Agency win!


  2. Some may call them "attack ads", but I think "truth ads" is a more accurate description. Backing up statements with facts, ie sources and dates is the way to go. But I'm sure the MSM will come to Iggy's defence. The PM is just plain mean. Facts? Who needs facts.

    Alberta Bob

  3. Actually, the Liberals DID think of them first. During their last real candidate elections, Iggy's sudden return was the main strike against him. That's why that charismatic powerhouse, Dion won the top job.

  4. I never noticed any hand guns pointed at me??? What's with that??? Oh yeah, it is a nasty, evil Neo-Con attack
    Can't say as I noticed any lies

  5. A liberal mp Jim K. has filed a complaint with the ethics commissioner over the ad with the PM in his office. Wants an apology and the ad pulled.
    Mary T

  6. Well can someone tell me if this Liberal ad is or is not taped inside Iffy's official office?
    the shudders and the flag sure look like it to me

  7. Liberal game
    -let's pretend Harper is not Prime Minister,
    -let's pretend the Coalition of Losers was Harper's imaginery boogeyman,
    -let's pretend there was no global economic meltdown

  8. No Liberal should have the stones to complain to any ethics commissioner.

  9. I happened to catch the Power Play segment yesterday. It is rich for Susan Delacourt to sniff that journalists object to the adds because they have this thing for the truth. This from the TO Star's Ottawa reporter.