Like the rest of the country, I watched the Super Bowl on Sunday, enjoying the game but paying more attention to the ads. I had a few favorites, but there was one that stuck out to me that could easily be re-purposed for an entirely different campaign.
Clint Eastwood’s Dodge ad played during halftime, and its subject was halftime in America. While the ad was about the rebirth of the Dodge brand and the automobile industry in Detroit, it could have very easily have been an ad for a political campaign.
Watch the ad below:
In fact, I wouldn’t be stunned to find out if both of the campaign masterminds with the Romney and the Obama campaigns are already on the phone with the producers of the Dodge ad to try to replicate it for their respective campaigns.
Obviously, it’s a better fit for the Obama campaign because of its optimistic nature and the fact that it mentions, halftime, which President Obama hopes 2012 represents for him.
But on a deeper level, the ad shows the way each campaign can recognize the tough nature of our current economy, but also elaborate on why all of us can hope for a better tomorrow. And there isn’t a more quintessentially American voice than Clint Eastwood, so I wouldn’t be surprised if campaign folks are recognizing the value of the voice as well.
But more importantly, I think this ad points out the fact that in the sea of negativity that will be the general election campaign, a positive ad this powerful can stand out and would likely be extremely effective.
Super Bowl ads are not always winners. Frankly, only a few stand out each year. But the ones that do stand out become centers of conversation and live on in our society’s consciousness. I’m unsure if this Dodge ad will have that kind of staying power, but its message certainly is one that will resonate beyond selling cars from Detroit.
I realize that negative ads will rule the 2012 campaign. Negativity will rule the airways because negative ads work.
However, positive ads can also work if they stand out and strike a particular note that resonates with the audience.
Clint Eastwood’s Super Bowl ad showed that you can take a negative situation, yet instill attitude, confidence and hope.
Whether it’s a direct copy or subtle rip-off, do not be surprised if you see a version of this advertisement again in a few months.
The big difference is that the new version will end with someone besides Dodge approving the message.
About The Blogger
– Dominic Dezzutti, producer of the Colorado Decides debate series, a co-production of CBS4 and Colorado Public Television, looks at the local and national political scene in his CBSDenver.com blog. Read new entries here every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Dezzutti writes about federal, state and local matters and how our elected leaders are handling the issues important to Colorado. Dezzutti also produces the Emmy winning Colorado Inside Out, hosted by Raj Chohan, on Colorado Public Television.