Ron Paul’s First New Hampshire Television Ad

As I understand it, these ads are set to start running this weekend or early next week.

If this is the entire ad strategy, it’s disappointing. Part of the problem with using volunteers to do campaign ads is that, usually they can’t act and they have a hard time acting like themselves when the camera light comes on. This is clearly true with a few of the people here, especially the guy with the beard at the end.

However, as I noted yesterday, the New York Times reports that there are five ads that will roll-out starting this week and, for the opening shot, this one isn’t bad at all.

Update: A note to the overwhelming number of you who seem to think this ad is a bomb. To some extent, I agree. I don’t think it was very well produced, and the “actors were, well, just bad. A few things to keep in mind, though. First, this is supposed to be step one in a five-part ad campaign — so its worth waiting to see what comes next; if the next few have similar issues, then it’s time to raise questions. Second, the campaign is obviously trying to appeal to mainstream Republican voters, not people who surf the net or watch YouTube videos. Third, I’ve watched most of the YouTube videos that some of you have referred to; they’re good for amateur work, but for television ads meant to appeal to a broad spectrum of voters, most of them don’t make the cut.

  • somebody

    Too bad its no longer the job of the voters to actively research the candidates and decide who represents them the best. No, the voters have to be swayed by actors.

  • Doug Mataconis

    The hardest part of any campaign is getting voters aware of the fact that you’re running and what you stand for.

    Back in the 40’s people walked the streets of NYC wearing sandwich boards with candidates names on them. Today, we have television and radio commercials.

    Things haven’t changed that much.

  • Thomas

    Name and picture. Name and picture. Everywhere. All the time.

  • Dave

    Honestly, I think they should run some of the video on youtube “A new hope.” Shorten it of course.
    Videos like these are what have won over Americans this far.

  • Joshua Holmes

    This commercial is bad, but most political commercials are terrible. B-

  • oilnwater

    so the ad was supposed to appeal to the geriatric via its serenity and cheesiness?

  • oilnwater

    also, what the hell was going on with paul’s highly uncomfortable look at the introduction.

  • libertyman

    That was pretty bad. I have seen better ones done for him for free on youtube. This is a shame that they went with this.

  • oilnwater

    maybe they’re too afraid to make anything that remotely incenses the audience since the childish media is rabid to call him out on being crazy/excitable/whatever. there are still 4 ads to go. i’d expect a punch in at least 1 of them so it’s not really a big deal. this one was for the AARP to keep those people their useless “what a wonderful world” endless song loop. it probably serves that purpose well enough.

  • illbewisdom

    Come on, I think it’s cute. Watch it a second time. It’s charming.

  • Brent Burk

    I saw it at first, hated it. Then I watched it like 20 more times though. I HATED it at first, but then I watched it and realized it wasn’t as bad as I thought. It wasn’t great, but it wasn’t horrible either. It got some good points across, it got quality production, the only bad part is the script really – supporters don’t need it, they should have just let them talk regularly about him.

    But just because this ad isn’t amazing doesn’t mean it isn’t effective.

    A lot of older people will watch and like it, some soccer moms too. It is a fact that older people have a harder time telling whether people are lying/are sarcastic/acting, so I don’t think it’s as bad as we think it is. But again, could have been better.

    Someone else said:

    Think about how he might be sandwiched between a bankruptcy lawyer and a Just for Men hair ad. People may not even be paying close attention to the ad because they didn’t go to choose to click on it and watch it but instead it came up in the middle of a program they were watching.

    They will get a good feeling from it. Smiling people talking about why they like Ron Paul. And the first line is a good hook. It isn’t how you expect an ad to start off in SUPPORT of a candidate so it makes you pay attention for the rest of the ad.

  • TheOneLaw

    perfect example of the difference in quality and ROI
    between efforts made by government (ie – the Official campaign organization)
    and private parties (YouTubers) operating outside of all the various restrictions
    imposed by myriads of meaningless and futile regulations and compromises between conflicting authorities.
    ‘A New Hope’ with all its flaws outpulls and outshines anything the official ‘paid’ and ‘professional’ campaign staff can ever hope to concoct according to recipe.

    Fortunately there is no bitter divide between the grassroots fire sweeping the nation and the campaign staff who are, despite their major handicaps, doing such a swell job of organizing our candidates agenda and strategy.

  • CD

    PLEASE, just have ron paul talk into the camera with no music and state his awesome views. This is retarded.

  • CD

    Oh my GOD. My husband and I will probably donate the max allowed. BUT Please, somebody have RP look into the camera and, dead serious, say he wants to end the war and fix our monetary system, please….

    A quiet background and Ron Paul. That is it. That would be different, nobody is doing that. The TV is all noise and two second shots. If it is dead serious, people will be stunned and impressed.

  • oilnwater

    but you’ll scare the old folks and the stupid folks by doing that…

  • GeneG

    I’d run this ad for two days at most than use the second installment. The media is going to howl and the production value, but it’s all about getting the name Ron Paul out there as a guy running for president. Fire Bill Dumas after New Hampshire and spend big on a talented production crew.

  • FreedomFanatick

    This does 2 things, puts his name out there and shows he’s not a revolutionary (in the bad sense of the word) gadfly or that all his fans are just 19 year old college students (why is that bad? One word: McGovern)

    It’s not that bad, looks like a cheaply made piece as well, looking forward to the next 4.

  • Dick Mulnik

    He looks like he has to much makeup on, and why did they have to start the thing with “I don’t always agree with Ron Paul” Why not just list these things:

    He has never voted to raise taxes.
    He has never voted for an unbalanced budget.
    He has never voted for a federal restriction on gun ownership.
    He has never voted to raise congressional pay.
    He has never taken a government-paid junket.
    He has never voted to increase the power of the executive branch.

    He voted against the Patriot Act.
    He voted against regulating the Internet.
    He voted against the Iraq war.

    He does not participate in the lucrative congressional pension program.
    He returns a portion of his annual congressional office budget to the U.S. treasury every year.

    Congressman Paul introduces numerous pieces of substantive legislation each year, probably more than any single member of Congress.

  • Rod

    This is HORRIBLE!!!!!!

    I can’t believe I donated money and time for this CRAP. Throw this bs out and do a youtube contest for best 30 second ad..for goodness sake! Who are the monkeys running this campaign???? Hello???????????

    Everyone call up campaign headquarters and tell them not to waste money on this nonsense.

  • CD

    I want to be a team player here. I wish I could see the rest of the ads. This is an opinionated crowd. At least it’s not an ad of Ron jogging in little short shorts. Did you see that one of Mitt romney? Ha HA. I bet he spent millions on it.

  • watertank

    This ad is not very good. If anyone from the campaign is reading this, please rethink your strategy. Every minute of air time counts, every dollar spent counts, and we need to be as effective as possible. To me, Ron Paul is larger than life because of his straight talk and great ideas. The ad needs to reflect that and be quite a bit more polished.

    Right now, it’s just like whatever. It’s just not good enough. It has to hit you from the first second (which it does) and leave a remarkable impression and the end of it (It falls short). This just doesn’t cut it.

    Another suggestion is to open it up to the grassroots movement. As there as hundreds of youtube videos, open it up and say that the best 30 second ad will be used on air. Not only will you save some money in production, but you might be surprised with the quality of the final video. I’m sure there are a lot of supporters who would jump on this.

  • Paul

    I think France and Wisconsin combined have less cheese than this ad.

    However, I also think that Ron needs to *move to the center*, and this ad does a very effective job of it.

    Fear not, there will be plenty of opportunities for people to also see young, 20some 9/11 Truthers waving “Google Ron Paul” signs above highway overpasses.

  • Andrew

    I agree that if you watch it a second time it’s not that bad. There is a perception that Ron Paul supporters are a wild lot and this would counter it. And maybe it takes cheesy ads like this to convince the majority of Americans that they’re ‘credible’ because they’re so used to being spoonfed inferior political ads that they would be suspicious if they got a superior ad.

  • Seapilot

    These ads are for people that dont know what a “Google” is. We know who the real “Ron” is. For the apathetic portion of the population you have to warm them up before you throw the boiling water on them to wake them up. I imagine this ad is just a warm up to show that Dr. Paul exists and people are talking about him. He rules the internet, radio and tv remember are the OLD MEDIA.

  • Mark

    That ad was everything Ron Paul is not – fake, hokey, cheesey, unsophisticated and out-of-date. It would be very easy for him to be pigeonholed into this image.

    We can make a difference here, and we need to because that ad is not good enough. It just won’t get the job done in time. I agree with the idea for the You Tube contest from Rod. I think we should just start with out waiting for the campaign to organize it.

    I’m going to list under Ron Paul TV ad.

    We can get the best one picked and then push to get it on TV in NH.

    If anyone else is game here is some first thoughts:

    Use footage of real supporters instead of actors to show the genuine excitement and passion RP’s “message” is generating

    Show RP at work. Taking on the New Chairman of the Federal Reserve. or something- like when he asks where do you find the moral justification to devalue peoples savings…etc or parts of his neoconned speach to congress

    Show the media’s obvious attacks on and attempts to marginalize his campain. America’s loves an underdog and hates bullies.

    Keep it quick and “sound bitey”. and don’t worry about overlapping content with other comptitors.

  • mike robinson

    It’s not that bad. The rest of the ads should be inspirational with Ron Paul speaking his message.

  • Bob

    Will Doug and his Fred Thompson loving neocon pals stop at nothing to smear the greatest man of the 21st, 20 and 19th century, RON PAUL! Now they’re picking on his TV ad!!! Don’t you know that Ron’s excrement doesn’t smell and that all you Fred Thompson loving neocons aren’t fit to be a patch on his backside! HOW DARE YOU HAVE AN UNRON THOUGHT! Ron will win! He’s already 1st in all the states. :-) Sorry, I couldn’t resist.

    Seriously, I thought the ad was pretty good. Remember its aimed at middle aged New England Republicans. My dad saw it (he’s a 70+ New England Republican) and he loved it. Remember the people in it are real NH Ron Paul supporters and not actors. However, I did read on 1 of the blogs that the internet reaction to it has been so bad that it might never make it to TV. The campaign is thinking about redoing it.

  • 1440minutes

    Terrible acting. Great idea to have YouTube contests rather than paying for this type of cheesy work.

  • Cedric

    I think I agree with everyone here… this is really really bad. I understand very well that any publicity is good publicity, but this might be the one exception. Just put Dr. Paul in front of the camera and have him condense one of his speeches into 30 seconds. That’s all you need ;)

  • Orat

    Abysmal. A friend of mine has done better spots pro bono, and he would chew his own arm off just for the opportunity to do this for the campaign. But this crap… they actually paid money for it! Please, Kent, or whoever is calling the shots on this, have a grassroots ad competition! You know we have the talent, just unleash it!

  • Orat

    Something along the lines of his exploratory committee video would be FAR better than this phony crap.

  • linus

    Who’s to say he hasn’t just hit the pulse of the voters in New Hampshire he’s trying to reach? The amazing thing about this campaign is that it moves along without Madison Ave., without focus groups, or high power consultants. It’s anti-slick, and it’s dead right, 99.9% of the time. It’s so right, it makes the news people look lazy and mean, and bought. That is no small thing.

  • Mike

    I agree with Dave.

    This UTUBE video is extremely effective. I have passed this to other people and they have never heard of Ron Paul. There were extremely impressed with his position and poise. I was actually swayed by these Utube videos myself. Extremely effective way to reach the voter.

    This should be the advertisement that they use:

    View it. Pass it on.

  • David from Texas

    Watching the ad the first few times was painful… but then again, all political ads are painful to watch. After seeing it a few times, it is really not that bad. Try to think of what it is like when the TV is on late at night, and the TV is more or less wallpaper. Many people actually do not look at the TV, but rather they hear the sound. Listen to the ad without watching it… The sound track is actually pretty good.

    There are going to be bumps in the road like this. I am sure that as the campaign heats up, far more effective ads are in store.

    If I had to give some advice to the producers of the ads… I would say to be careful about having the subject shift his/her eyes to look in another direction as they are talking… it is distracting and unnecessary, and it appears fake if it is used too often… Use it only when it appears natural.

    Anyway… Don’t get too easily discouraged all you RP supporters. Things are going to get better and very exciting soon!

    Go Ron Paul!

  • David from Texas

    I love that video… the problem is that it is too long for a comercial! (8 minutes). The opening is excellent. If it is used for a comercial, then some serious cutting and editing would be in order… but it could be done.

    If it were possible to purchase 8 minute advertising spots at a good price, then that video would be perfect!

  • Dom

    I think this ad really stinks. I’m a singer an actor as well as an ardent supporter and I’d be embarrassed to show this to my friends. It’s also horribly written.

  • Stevo

    Ron Paul should get some college students to make his videos for free. Whoever he hired to make this video doesn’t know what they are doing. It was so cheesy. The people hired were actors, not real supporters. He can do better.

  • /////ANDRE

    Compare it with some other ads and it’s not so bad.
    There is a McCain & Romney ad here…

    If it’s one of a series, wait till you’ve seen them all to pass judgement.

  • Jason

    I agree that the “New Hope” ad is fantastic and this ad is kinda… well, its bad.

    Open up a contest for the people, then you do two things, one, you get a free ad, and two, you get one that is not a turd.

    I showed my mom the youtube ad and she actually sat through the whole thing and came away impressed, and she doesnt follow politics. We don’t need something extreme, just something that tells the message. A montage of debate clips and pictures of supporters with lots of name repetition would be better…

    Let the non-crazy supporters take a shot, we’ve been the backbone until now and gone nothing but up, dont spend money on things you can get for free.

    Have a contest and put the submissions on the website and broadcast the best ones in the primary states. Use your strengths, namely, us!!!

  • Craig

    Something like this would have been better to introduce him, and cheap to make too:

    Then go for some ads with Ron Paul talking directly to the audience.

    And mention Iraq. Clearly and forcefully. Why is the campaign running away from their key distinguishing feature?

  • Drena

    I call for the resignation of Kent Snyder, Paul’s campaign manager. It should be obvious to anyone that the ad is attrocious. Aside from the bad acting, you don’t start an ad by creating doubt in the mind of the viewer with lines like “I don’t agree with..Ron Paul.” The campaign staff leadership is incompetent to handle a major campaign.

    Kent Snyder has to go.

  • Brian

    This ad is very, very cheesy. Big political thud. For starters, Paul should have went with a brief biography of himself. Start by telling voters you were born during the Depression. You were a track and field star and all-round athlete. Paid for your own education, went to college, served our country in the Air Force (wasn’t a draft-dodger like Rudy and Mitt) and delivered 4,000 babies. Paid for your own children’s colleges (no federal student loans). Supported Reagan in 1976 when other Republicans supported Ford.

  • oilnwater

    oh get a freaking grip people, it was a lackluster ad 1 of 5. calling for resignations is about as lame as you can get.

  • Samj

    Terrible ad, but from what I’ve gotten back from the campaign, it’s a highly niche targeted ad that will run about 20 times. I think they’re targetting the geriatric crowd who votes in every ballot measure they possibly can, and aren’t aware of Ron Paul.

  • Robert

    I kind of like it. Some people haven’t heard of him yet, and if your were seeing or hearing this as an introduction to Ron Paul for the first time, I think it will be rather effective in arousing interest. I’m sure older New Hampshirinians (as they refer to themselves as) will appreciate this ad’s frugality in nature.

  • Ward Ciac

    I like it.

  • Mark G

    He should use some of the footage from Paulites focusing on founding father quotes like Frankilns on freedom for security, losing both. He needs to tell people about his integrity through voting records and how he carries a copy of the constitution in his pocket, he needs to spread that message, we need to break into the mainstream by reminding Americans what it was that made this country great, none of the other candidates can stand on a stage with Dr. Paul.

    Introduce America to the Jeffersonian, not another politician with a cheezy commerical. Look to youtube Dr. Paul, the world will follow you, do not listen to politicos and never let them make your commericals with our money.

  • Jono

    Hahaha, the ad made me laugh.

    I’m a big Ron Paul supporter, but thats after years of reading history, economics, and seeing how Ron Paul has a deep and consistent understanding of liberty and free trade.

    But you watch this ad, and you see some shallow phrases like “Hes a doctor, and he understands the mess behind our healthcare system” .. and “he’s catching on !”

    It makes me laugh.. they could be talking about any random politician. But I guess it makes a nice soundbyte. It will be interesting to see how much the glossy ads improve his standing in the polls :)

    It says a lot about people and how much research they do before they vote.

  • Asshat

    I like the youtube contest idea.

    The only thing that bothers me is that we will be making ads that appeal to us – and we’re already convinced of Dr. Paul’s appeal. Kind of a preaching to the choir problem.

    I think we should have the youtube contest and do our own research by testing them on our neighbors and family members – you know, the offline people.

  • Brad Linzy, Evansville, IN

    I don’t think Ron Paul should be PANDERING to the “over 50 crowd” with this kind of nonsense, honestly.

    It’s an utter shame that to win a presidential election in this country you have to appear to sell out.

    Someone on YouTube put up the idea of just saying, “Ron Paul – apply directly to the government,” over and over in a Head-On spoof. I thought that might have even been a better idea than this. It gets attention precisely BECAUSE it’s unconventional. Hell, he’d probably get tons of free airplay on comedy late night TV just because it was funny.

    Without the $100 MILLION coffers of a Hillary Clinton, these are the kinds of things that will make or break you.

    There needs to be a contest, plain and simple. The makers of this video had every good intention, but it’s just not the best it can be. I GUARANTEE you the army of media and computer geeks backing Ron Paul could come up with 30 or 40 better commercials in less than a day if the campaign simply directed them to do so!

  • Brad Linzy, Evansville, IN

    I agree with those who say that calling for resignations over this is way too far.

    This campaign, for the most part, has been on the ball and deserves a round of applause for how far they’ve taken this thing! They have even managed to start breaking through the ice-walled media, albeit only at turns.

    I think everyone in the campaign is doing a fantastic job, but that’s not to say there isn’t room for improvement or constructive criticism from those of us outside the ‘official’ campaign. For instance, here in Indiana (a late primary state, but every one counts right?) we have YET to find out what stinking name to put on our petitions to get him on our primary ballot! We have been put in touch with someone who is supposed to be coordinating, but nothing is coming from this right now.

    The deadline is in February and the clock is ticking. People aren’t going to like going door to door in the snow to collect signatures and winter is approaching! They are dropping the ball on this one.

    Also, I’ve been calling them for weeks now telling them they need their 1-800-RON-2008 phone number to have a menu where callers can just listen to the man speak! That way, those of us holding signs on the freeways and streets of the country can just hold up a sign with that number on it so those with cell phones can find out immediately what he’s all about! This is very simple and can be done in less than a day by a knowledgeable person.

    I realize we can’t all steer this campaign, and I realize that there are people with more experience in running a political campaign than I at the helm, but there are cases where things can be improved and the people have some pretty good ideas… We are only suggesting they be taken into account.

    Take the “Granny Warriors” … I don’t know these people, but they have a GREAT idea. They are flying Ron Paul banners at NASCAR events! HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE, many Republicans, attend these events! This is BRILLIANT targeted advertising…and relatively cheap! They reckoned about $2400 for 8 passes around the speedway. 200,000 South Carolinians were almost compelled to see “RON PAUL 4 PRESIDENT 2008” in the sky for the peanut sum of $2400.

    That is an excellent value and something the official campaign should encourage people to help support, or possibly chip in a little to help out.

    Read some of the details here:

  • PBM

    When I first saw this ad, I liked it. I watched it with the targeted audience in mind. The youtube vids are great because they effectively speak to the youtubers. However, these obviously don’t raise interest for non youtubers and non-internet truth-seekers. What is different about this ad? Well, no mud-slinging for one. And whether or not you like it, many people are talking amongst themselves about how they don’t agree with Ron Paul on everything, and so the campaign is dealing with that head-on. And the “catching on” really is good because it makes those in the third wave of supporters (close to mainstream) more comfortable in accepting him enough to vote for him. People have been asking if he can take it mainstream, and when he does the activists seem to get upset. We need mainstream support because we’ve got to face it, we are in a minority.

  • tannim

    Nothing wrong with this at all, except for one thing, which is that Dr. Paul needs to smile in the intro.

    It’s a simple, sound-bite ad. It makes the points clearly and quickly. It’s crisp and clean and it works for 30 seconds. It’s not overproduced, either.

    All these critics need to learn marketing.

  • todd

    theres nothing wrong with the ad…most of you are like me….hardcore supporters who want the public to be hammered with hard talk and facts. the average schmuck in the street can barely feed themselves let alone understand the insidious ramifications of the Federal Reserve…and unfortunately they vote. im pretty sure subsequent ads will be on the strong side…personally i think that the ads should just shout “RP IS THE ONLY ONE WHO WILL END THE WAR”, from the mountaintop….that alone will win it, provided the 70% who want out have not been lying!!!

  • linus

    This campaign takes all awards. The wide range of opinion here is fascinating. I’m starting to think it’s been an advantage to be outside the mainstream press. The press can’t handle what the campaign is delivering, it’s too big. Abolish the IRS? Gold backed money? No war on terror? Troops home from Korea, Germany, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Italy, Phillipines, Turkey, Kyrgyzstan, Netherlands, Panama, Greenland, Guam, Uzbekistan, Portugal, United Kingdom, Japan, Australia, Pakistan, Senegal, Ghana, Mali, Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, Romania, Poland, Bulgaria, Morocco, Singapore, Tunisia, Algeria, Malaysia, and on and on and on and on and on and on and on.

    I think the ad is where most Americans are. At some level they are ill at ease, and understand that the empire is headed for catastrophe, but nobody, not in the press, not in Washington, can talk about the enormity of the disconnect between the reality of the American position, it’s financial fragility, it’s military overstretch, the DEBT! No more manufacturing! and the overt and ridiculous propaganda held up each night as a realistic picture of ourselves through the networks.

    The people in the ad? They’re the people to whom we wish to give back power.

  • William

    I like this ad. Remember, step one is branding – get the name out, get people familiar with it. Then you can go with the rhetoric that convinced all of us, and the facts that make us so passionate about him.

  • Eric

    Come on people! That ad is embarrassing. I’m from NH and in the advertising industry. That commercial is lame and it will be viewed as a direct reflection of Ron Paul. It screams “I am fake and unsuccessful. This is all the ad this candidate can afford.” And it’s 100% boring and forgettable. Total waste of money. The few who actually watch this ad in it’s entirety will forget it even aired.

    Put run in front of the camera. Let him speak about his bright vision of America’s future with him as President. Simple.

    (p.s. By the way, we don’t call ourselves NewHampshironians or whatever, it’s New Hampshire-ites.)

  • Andy

    “Come on people! That ad is embarrassing. I’m from NH and in the advertising industry.”

    Then offer your talents if you are so wicked cool, Eric.

    I’ll tell you what I liked about the ad…because it was a bit cheesy it works. It doesn’t have the used car salesman slime ‘smile’ of Romney, or the ‘I alone lived thru 9/11 and I will save you’ pomposity of gouliani. Fred will lose speed on his own, and Bush/GOP already sold out McCain- again so he too will faulter. Bush fairly nominated Billary already so the GOP is meant to fall this cycle anyway.

    I saw the 2nd ad and its much more polished which shows how there are different audiences and how difficult it is to pack a complex idea into 30 seconds.

  • Cynthia

    The ads need to show the clear choice. Ron Paul is strong but you only see that when you hear him on the issues talking fro his heart. Also he’s the only consistant candidate. Bush lied and we believed. I am sad to say I didn’t check his background–the ad should show his consistant background. SOVEREIGNTY-SOVEREIGNTY-SOVEREIGNTY.

  • xmax

    It’s a refund! He and his wife made a contribution on the same paypal account. Is this really news? What about the stuff that we know about money and corruption?