Political Ad Watch: Tim Hudak’s Initial Campaign Ad Crashes


Sometimes political ads are overthought. Often, these 30 seconds are evidence of genuine nerds making decisions based on micro data instead of the nuances of the voters themselves. There is a vast difference between those two motivations.

Tim Hudak has had years to formulate the right message. In fact, he has been fairly consistent over the last half-decade or so, keeping the issue of job creation front and center as the leader of the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario. Hudak’s main problem all these years is the following; he is one of the most ineffective, uninspiring politicians in Canadian history. His leadership has been so unsuccessful that he did not have the chops to challenge a Liberal government who has done everything imaginable to lose the last two elections. If you can’t beat a bad government, chances are you have a bad leader. Just ask the federal Liberal Party.

Below is the first Progressive Conservative ad released since an election was triggered in the province of Ontario.

Style: Here’s the thing about trying to showcase your party as an aspirational choice in this election; if your leader is completely uninspiring, don’t pretend he is really, really compelling. Dramatic, cinematic music accompanying a stump speech only works if someone other than a bad Michael Keaton stand-in gives the stump speech. Plus, there’s an ‘Aw shucks’, double arm thrust at the end that’s just awkward enough to cement your view that the ad tries to reinvent Hudak instead of giving the audience the real deal.

Message: It’s the oldest key message in the conservative arsenal; jobs. After all, who can argue with job creation? It’s not a bad message, really. The biggest problem is the disjointed delivery of the ‘1 Million Jobs’ platform. Hudak seems to imply he will be getting back a few hundred thousand manufacturing jobs. But, how? Who knows, as long as that cinematic music is playing it doesn’t matter.

Effectiveness: The Hudak campaign team probably thinks this is a homerun spot, but they are also listening to the movie music too intently. This is an ad created by professionals who were asked to do the impossible – make Tim Hudak seem like something he’s not…an aspirational politician.

Grade: C-


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