This Fred Thompson ad in South Carolina isn’t exactly the ad I would do, but it’s not bad. I think he needs to have other people enthusiastically saying “I’m for Fred!,” or something like it, in order to build a bandwagon effect. And I think he needs to do something more dramatic overall. This ad is just too low-key and too predictable for my tastes. And it sounds a little too cliched, without enough of a selling point. I also think he needs to appeal to South Carolinians’ parochial pride somewhere along the line. He needs to make the case that it is long past time for South Carolina to stop letting itself be limited by choices given them by Iowa and New Hampshire — that it should not let those two states limit the field, but rather should put its own stamp on the race by choosing its own candidate irrespective of the results of previous contests.
Finally, if I were Thompson, I would try to float an exciting new issue with which to rally people.
All that said, Thompson does come across fairly well in the ad — trustworthy, solid, somebody you would be comfortable with in the Oval Office. Even if it is not what I would do, it may just sell in South Carolina. We’ll see….
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