The Allen Ad
Monday, October 02, 2006 :::
No, it was not a "major statewide address." Allen's appearance on television was an ad -- a long form ad that's not seen too often these days -- but an ad nevertheless.
So looking at it as an ad, how was it? Good enough, but hardly enough to change the course of the race (though the polls would seem to indicate it is still Allen's race to lose). The soft colors and staging, with a picture of Allen's father given prominent placement, made it almost seem like a Redskins infomercial. As subtext, that's not entirely bad, especially considering the team is winning lately.
Susan Allen's appearance was problematic, however. I can understand the "stand by your man" theme. But she looked rather...plastic. I question using her in this format as she added little and was actually somewhat distracting.
What about the message? Webb was not mentioned, nor was the press. There was a moment of contrition, but only a moment (we've all had enough of those lately). The litany of policy bullet points may have been effective on some level. But considering the timing -- in between local programming and the network feed -- they were so much noise. The most interesting points were made on the war. Here, at long last, the ad founds its legs. The focus on Allen (with his father's portrait just over his right shoulder) was very well done. This should have been the format throughout, but alas, it wasn't to be.
Will this spot change any votes? No. The only way for that to happen would be to run it in a heavy rotation and in abbreviated form, neither of which I think will occur.
In sum, it was not a "major address." But it was a passable ad.
::: posted by Norman Leahy at 10/02/2006