Another in our guest series from Inkwell Strategies analyzing the 2012 campaign ad war.
With his campaign in free-fall and the Iowa caucuses looming, Texas Governor Rick Perry is attempting to turn things around with what has been described as a “significant ad buy” in New Hampshire, one of the 2012 campaign’s first major paid media campaigns.
In a strong departure from his glossy and stylish “Proven Leadership” ad, Perry’s new video is stylistically simple. Gone are the melodramatic crescendos and the Hollywood-inspired cinematography. With weak debate performances and a bizarre speech in New Hampshire that led to speculation that he was intoxicated, the new ad is a clear effort to counter the prevailing notion that Perry may not have the gravitas for the presidency. Rather than aiming for Beltway politicos, this ad aims at middle class conservative voters who will ultimately decide the GOP race.
Against a white background, Perry delivers a “regular guy” message:
“If you’re looking for a slick politician, or a guy with great teleprompter skills,” Perry says, “we already have that, and he’s destroying our economy.”
Delivering his lines with directness and confidence, Perry is taking a page from the George W. Bush playbook, attempting to flip his lack of eloquence from a liability to an advantage. The strategy is also meant to contrast with Mitt Romney’s style that some voters view as too slick.
As Perry continues to take heat for his record from all sides in the Republican primary – including a recent web ad from the Romney campaign that accuses the Texas governor of supplying liberal ideas to California – Perry declares himself a “doer, not a talker” and credits his tenure for creating 40% of the country’s new jobs since June 2009 while cutting $15 billion in state spending.
Perry is hoping to reintroduce himself to primary voters as a strong leader with a proven economic track record. Given his vast campaign war chest, he may be uniquely positioned to carry this message through a drawn out contest with Romney. We can expect the paid media war to pick up in the coming weeks, but with his numbers mired in the single digits in New Hampshire – and virtually all political oxygen currently occupied by Romney and Herman Cain – it’s unclear whether there is room in the field for Perry to make a comeback.Save to Favorites