Why the McCain Ad Works

It's a Pie in the Face

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Evan Tracey Evan Tracey
There has been a lot of hand-wringing about the recent McCain ad that compares Barack Obama to Britney Spears and Paris Hilton. I have read numerous sources and watched talking heads who have panned the ad as over the top and in poor taste. I have to say as a nonpartisan ad analyst, I think the ad is pure genius.

The reason I like the ad is simply that it works. It takes a pie-in-the-face approach to advertising. The ad shocks the viewer by asserting that Obama is the political equivalent of a party girl, inciting viewers to reconcile this charge and not turn off the ad, forcing them to stay tuned for the punch line: Obama will raise your taxes and import more foreign oil.

The McCain camp is now making this ad a third of its current ad rotation, airing it more than 350 times a day. It's clear they think they have something that connects with voters. I think they are correct and that the ad works in today's hyperactive media-consuming environment, much in the same way Head-On goes directly on your forehead, if you follow my drift ...

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Evan Tracey is the founder and chief operating officer of Campaign Media Analysis Group, a TNS Media Intelligence company. See his complete bio.