These are the dog days of election year politics. The fields are mostly set, and the final battle is still too far away to matter much. Plus, who wants to think about politics in summer? The answer: The campaign ad makers. Political Mad Men have no problem working the heat into their spots, or doing even better by making political spots so compelling we can’t look away even when we would rather be swimming.
So without further ado, here is our take on 2014’s top 6 political ads of the summer, so far.
6.”Sunshine” – Charlie Crist, Democratic candidate for Governor of Florida
Charlie Crist pays homage to the sunshine state of Florida through this ad’s theme. The high-quality video clearly outlines what Crist accomplished in his last term and what his goals are should he be reelected, which gives viewers a clear picture of what this candidate wants you to think he is about.
5.”Question from Don – Retired Coal Miner” – Alison Lundergan Grimes, Democratic candidate for U.S. Senator from Kentucky
This Alison Lundergan Grimes ad pulls off a political attack in an effective, tactful and even funny manner. Rather than loud accusations and a laundry list rant about her opponent Mitch McConnell, the complaint comes from the mouth of a concerned constituent who doesn’t attack but simply asks a question. The long silence gets a bit uncomfortable.
4.”Janey” – Kay Hagan, Democratic candidate for U.S. Senator from North Carolina
This Kay Hagan ad hooks you in with a personal story involving a dad, who served in the military, and his daughter, who died of leukemia after drinking the base’s contaminated water. By selecting a particular issue and highlighting Hagan’s work within it, the ad neatly showcases her accomplishments.
3.”Coach” – Mike McFadden, Republican candidate for U.S. Senator from Minnesota
This ad is sure to stick in your memory because, hey, it’s not every day you see a grown man get hit in the crotch by a kid. The boys from his football team play spokespeople, adding a punch of cuteness and believability to his political message. He nails the all-American dad image with this advertisement, and when you are running against comedian-turned-senator Al Franken, it’s always good to be funny.
2. “Meet My Mom” – Emily Cain, Democratic candidate for Maine’s 2nd Congressional District
This ad stood out from others for one reason: there was no sound. Emily Cain’s mom, an interpreter for the deaf, signs the whole advertisement, which has subtitles running across the bottom. The idea is unique and the mother-daughter relationship, a seemingly common tactic this ad season, offers a sense of familiarity and friendliness. The connection between the Deaf Community and voting for Cain might have been a bit of a stretch, especially because the ad didn’t offer any campaign promises or pros of the candidate, but the ad does stand out.
1.”In A Box” – Darius Foster, Republican state candidate for District 56, Alabama’s House of Representatives
While most political ads focus on the politician, Darius Foster switches it up by focusing on the constituents. His ad shows him as a man of the people. Foster doesn’t pile on promises and boost himself up, but instead offers personal facts about himself ranging from his recent attendance at a Lil Wayne concert to the fact that he’s the first in his family to attend college.