Obama’s First 2012 TV Campaign Ad — Video + My Thoughts

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So, Obama’s first 2012 presidential campaign ad is out. Running in Ohio, Wisconsin, Michigan, Virginia, and North Carolina since last night, ‘The Facts About President Obama’s Energy Record’ is basically all about energy. Take a look:

My general thoughts are ‘meh’. And here are the reasons why, starting with the good points:

Obama Campaign Ad ‘Scores’

1. The title: Facts. People like facts. People trust facts. The facts are on Obama’s side and he flaunts that. Score!

2. Calling out the billionaires: Ever heard of Occupy Wall Street? Ever heard of people fed up with corruption in politics? Ever heard of the public loving oil companies? Yes, Yes, No. First line of the video lays out who’s attacking Obama,… and it’s the bad guys.

3. Focus on energy: Energy, no matter what his opponents want to say, is Obama’s strong point. Just about any way you look at it, Obama has a lot of energy successes to tout.

4. Focus on clean energy: Clean energy is a winner. Obama’s team knows it. People love clean energy (as they should). Being the president that is for clean energy–win!

5. Clean energy economy = 2.7 million jobs and expanding rapidly: Nice, and nice graphic.

Obama Campaign Ad ‘Fails’

1. The title: A little dry, no? A little neutral, no? How about something like, “Fact: Obama’s Energy Record Kicks A**”–OK, just joking. But, seriously, how about something a little stronger and more positive?

2. The language — WTF?!: I’m sorry, but using ‘tethered’ is fine and dandy for educated folk and maybe even for most people, but it might just fly over the heads of a lot of the people this video is aimed at. I realize it was a quote, but find a better one! Anyone with half a brain cell can look into the Solyndra story and see it was spun more vehemently and ridiculously by the fossil fuel industry and its bought fools than a 100-year-old dradle. But, for the rest of the nation…

Some more good words and phrases thrown in there: ‘record on ethics’, ‘unprecedented’, ‘our dependence on oil is below 50%’ (maybe try: ‘we get less than 50% of our oil from foreign countries’), ‘kept a promise to toughen ethics rules’.

3. Sh** gets really hazy: A 30-second ad like this needs to be pointed, focused. This ad was all over the place, and I don’t want to count how many words they stuffed into it. After watching it three times (and being someone who writes on energy for a living), I didn’t know exactly what I was supposed to be thinking at the end. There was too much crammed into it. (Of course, I knew what I was supposed to be thinking before I even watched the video… knew what was going to be the point, but my point is there was no ‘Bam! That’s right.’ at the end of the video, and all the concepts and points mushed together in 30 seconds really leaves a viewer pretty indifferent, imho.)

4. No humor: OK, not the focus here, but slipping in a little humor is almost always good. And key to Obama’s re-election, I think, is associating Obama with good feelings. A few good jokes go a long way. (Please, don’t critique my own work like this–I know how much I fail in this arena!)

5. Who chose the picture used 7 seconds in?: Paul Harris of the Guardian was the one who turned me on to that mistake (so, hopefully, not too many people draw such a link… I can only imagine how Tea Partiers would jump on this on): “Next, we see a shot of Obama appearing presidential in an office (though he also looks a little like he’s giving a one-arm fascist salute … hmmm, poor picture choice).” Yikes, no joke. And he’s not even smiling and it looks like his eyes aren’t fully open!

6. Too wordy & too texty: Again, the ad was far too wordy. It also had too much text. (Yes, I know texty is not a word.)



My suggestion: Get Josh Fox on your team!

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Zachary Shahan

Zach is tryin' to help society help itself one word at a time. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director, chief editor, and CEO. Zach is recognized globally as an electric vehicle, solar energy, and energy storage expert. He has presented about cleantech at conferences in India, the UAE, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, the Netherlands, the USA, Canada, and Curaçao. Zach has long-term investments in Tesla [TSLA], NIO [NIO], Xpeng [XPEV], Ford [F], ChargePoint [CHPT], Amazon [AMZN], Piedmont Lithium [PLL], Lithium Americas [LAC], Albemarle Corporation [ALB], Nouveau Monde Graphite [NMGRF], Talon Metals [TLOFF], Arclight Clean Transition Corp [ACTC], and Starbucks [SBUX]. But he does not offer (explicitly or implicitly) investment advice of any sort.

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