Campaigns busy crafting catchy barrage of political ads

HARTFORD -- It’s time for an election season bombardment of political advertisements, but whose spots stand out and whose fall flat?

FOX61 sat down with experts to examine the media messages. Campaigns are busy crafting catchy, creative commercials that could sway your vote.

“I’m David Stemerman, I’m Steve Obsitnik, I’m Mark Boughton, I’m Ned Lamont - and I approve this message,” is usually the tag line.

With all those names, it’s about standing out.

“Politicians are brands,” said Steve Wolfberg, the owner of Cronin in Glastonbury.

And that brand needs to differentiate.

Some ads do it better than others. Compare Stemerman’s Wrecking Ball ad “No one has done more damage to Connecticut than Governor Dan Malloy, ”to Stefanowski’s Bob the Rebuilder ad. “Dan Malloy has wrecked Connecticut’s economy.”

“From a differentiating standpoint, he’s saying the same thing the other guy said,” explained Wolfberg.

Boughton’s "comeback" ad is risky. It humanizes him. It uses his health scare to soft-sell his message.

“That’s my comeback story. I want to use my time and voice to give Connecticut its own comeback story,” Boughton said in the ad.

“I would say perhaps the most effective of the political ads so far,” remarked Wolfberg.

And then there's Ned Lamont’s ad where he’s just driving around in his car.

“Not gonna take a salary, and I don’t need a government car, this one is gonna do just fine,” said Lamont.

It overtly sends the message, "I’m one of you," and perhaps subliminally something different.

“He’s not stationary. He’s moving forward. I think that’s part of the image that he’s trying to portray here,” said Scott McLean, the Chair of the Political Science Department at Quinnipiac University.

But let’s be honest, it all comes down to you — the voter. Do you tune in?

“I don’t," said Loretta Robinson of New Britain. "Reason why is there is just too much nit-picking at one another.”

But the experts said negative ads work.

“Negative messages stick and while people don’t want to admit it, the negative spots do stay with them longer and may affect them when they actually get to the ballot box,” explained Wolfberg.

“I’m going to stick to what I’ve always stuck too. What have you done? Show me what you’ve done. You can talk the talk, but walk the walk,” rebutted Robinson.

The experts we talked to said it’s important to have a sharp traditional media strategy and combine that with social media savvy, and good interpersonal skills for grassroots door-knocking. As for robocalls, they said it's probably not as effective.

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