Political Ad Watch: Olivia Chow – Does Rob Ford Return Phone Calls?


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By: James Di Fiore

The fatal flaw in Olivia Chow’s campaign team is clearly Warren Kinsella. The lifelong liberal political operative was selected by Olivia Chow to do her dirty work after the former NDP MP declared she would be running a clean campaign.

Hiring Kinsella is not a symptom of a campaign running cleanly. He is not just notoriously mischievous, but he hasn’t exactly been a beacon of success over the past 15 years either. In the last Toronto mayoral election, Kinsella was the brains behind Rocco Rossi’s failed run, and the most probable culprit for those horrible mafia-inspired radio ads that dogged Rossi’s campaign.

So, with Kinsella at the helm of Chow’s communications, her campaign is rolling the dice by trying to showcase a positive candidate with a decidedly negative operative behind the scenes.

Let’s take a look at Olivia Chow’s latest political ad criticizing one of Rob Ford’s most often repeated qualities: returning phone calls from Torontonians.

Style: If you are going to release a one-minute ad, you should probably try changing up the production a little. We have a person talking towards the camera in a kitchen. That’s it. Nothing more.

Message: Having a completely unknown civilian talk about how she always calls the mayor and that he never calls her back should take about 6 seconds…unless of course she just repeats herself over and over again for the entire ad. The fact that this ad is more than 30 seconds is a mystery, and why the producers didn’t use more than one person complaining about Rob Ford’s phone calls means the idea wasn’t that strong to begin with.

Effectiveness: This ad doesn’t resonate well with anyone. It’s anecdotal, boring and redundant.

Grade: D

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