Sunday, January 01, 2006

Conservative Negative Ad

The Truth Hurts: Canadian Political Blog
[As soon as the next SES Research poll comes out I will post a new seat forecast (see links in left column), or once a more detailed poll comes out.]

So I got caught up in a CTV blog on the new Conservative ad. I kicked off the comments with, "Wasn't *that* a negative ad?" To which there were several shocked replies. Here is a sampling:

"If quoting a government's record, and showing a headline quoting the government is negative, then, I guess, this is a 'negative' ad."

"I don't agree that this is a negative ad. From a marketing perspective it follows the basics ... This ad is Marketing 101 all the way."

"How in the world is presenting truth 'Going negative'?"

"Since when was stating clear facts considered negative?"

I had quickly shot back a response that I thought was fairly good:

"I'm not saying the ad isn't truthful, but if I call someone fat and dumb can I say I'm not being negative just because they ARE fat and dumb?"

But I think Red Tory had a better response on his site because it better explained this ad is, in fact, a negative ad:

"I think that if people can’t admit that this is a negative ad then they’re entirely clueless as to the nature of negative ads. Some folks however figure you have to stick horns on your opponent, wildly demonize them and show them eating babies or mutilating kittens in order for it to constitute 'negativity.'"

Watch the ad again. It is very effective but, it does not provide one positive reason for voting Conservative. The whole ad is about negative reasons to vote for the Conservatives. That IS a negative ad. It is not a bad thing to run a negative ad, it is perfectly legitimate to point out serious flaws in a political opponent. And there have been negative ads that have been much harsher than this one, particularly in the U.S. But this is still a negative ad, and probably the most negative ad of the election so far.