I was going to just post this as a comment, but I wrote a bit more than I thought I was going to. So it's a full-length entry.
All right, I did see the ad. I'm not posting it here, but I'm sure it'll be up on the DeStefano site soon enough.
Here's the text of the ad, and what I saw:
Fifty states, but Connecticut is last in job growth. Property taxes
skyrocketing. Endless traffic jams.
Black and white montage of sad-looking people, followed by a traffic jam. Message: the current state of affairs is bad. This is aimed at the Rell Administration, although it doesn't accuse them directly. The beginning photograph (a worker in a hard hat) is visually arresting and very eye-catching. She looks tough, but under a lot of stress. The next two images (two sad, concerned-looking white people and a traffic jam) are much less interesting, but still evocative. The music is sad.
We can do better.
The words "We can do better" appear on the screen. Music becomes more upbeat.
John DeStefano. The son of a police officer, devoted husband and father.
Picture of DeStefano surrounded by children. Old photograph of father. DeStefano on lawn with family. All of these pictures are in color (except DeStefano's father), and are bright and hopeful. People are smiling.
As New Haven Mayor, new jobs created, crime cut over 40%, dropout rate cut over 40%.
More color pictures of DeStefano on the job, working with people. The statistics appear on the screen. Why no statistic for job creation? (Actually, according to the CT. Department of Labor, New Haven's unemployment rate has spiked this year, up to around 8% in August. It was around 4% in 2000. This doesn't mean jobs weren't created, as the labor force has increased slightly.)
For Connecticut---jobs and economic growth. For our families. John DeStefano for Connecticut.
More colorful photos. Stirring music. Words like "Families" appear at the botton, re-emphasizing values and campaign themes. The ad ends with DeStefano staring off to the left with resolve, while the campaign logo appears next to him.
So here's the progression of the ad (and the basic theme of the campaign):
- Connecticut is in crisis. Even if you don't know it yet, it is.
- But there's hope! Things can change.
- Our candidate has a great background. He's a family man. He's like you.
- He's done great things in New Haven. New Haven is a lot better than you remember.
- He'll do great things for us, too.
No real substance yet, but it's early. A little negative for a first impression. People don't have to be told when there's a crisis: they figure it out for themselves. If a candidate pushes crisis too hard when the public doesn't feel there is one, that candidate becomes vulnerable to charges of negativity. That's the route the governor is going.
Otherwise it's a solid campaign piece. I do think, however, that people are going to be surprised to see it on the air a year before the election. Then again, the ad is meant more for the party base than anyone else. It lets them know that the Democrats are alive and kicking, and that this campaign will be hard-fought. As a message to the base, it succeeds very well indeed.