Dueling ads. Bernie Sanders' and Hillary Clinton's Iowa ads.

The candidates are running these ads in Iowa and NH in the final days before the caucus and primary. What do you think? Effective? Some people have said the Sanders ad is his “Morning in America” ad.


Neither ad looks like a deal closer to me.

Bernie’s ad is poor. It’s not Morning in America which wasn’t just feel-good images ; it had a clear argument:

The only argument in Bernie’s ad seems to be the bandwagon effect; a bunch of people are rallying behind me so you should too. This is not exactly persuasive to people who are not yet convinced.

Hillary’s ad is OK. It has too much detail and lacks emotional resonance but at least it has a clear argument about why she should be President.

Agreed, I’m extremely underwhelmed by the ad. He never even actually spoke, except for that “I’m so-and-so blah blah blah” portion.

Then again, Clinton didn’t speak in hers except for the “I approve”, either.

I don’t really know what to think about generic feel-good ads like the Sanders one. I mean, I know that they often work quite well, but obviously some of them work better than others, and I don’t know how to tell the difference, since they all look alike to me.

Clinton’s ad, meanwhile, is nearly the opposite of a feel-good ad. The ad is talking about solving problems, but the imagery shown is much more of the problems than of the solutions: We’ve got some sort of nefarious-looking industrial stuff that’s probably polluting, we’ve got rubble from the 9/11 attacks, we’ve got a bunch of scary guns, we’ve got a lot of people enthusiastic over Trump. And even the scenes which are neutral in content, like a family sitting around a dining-room table, are darkly lit and grim.

I also find it poetically appropriate that to watch the Clinton ad, I had to first sit through an advertisement from a Big Business, while to watch the Sanders ad, I didn’t. Though I don’t know if that reflects the actual availability of the ads, or just the first places the OP found hosting each.

And I’m sure that these aren’t the only ads either campaign is running. Doubtless Sanders has some more substantive ones, and Clinton has some more feel-good ones. The better comparison would be like for like.

Bernie’s ad seems to me like it’d be too white for a national ad, but maybe it’s OK in corn country.

Bernie looks so old in that add. All it’s missing is the Boy Scouts lining up to help him across the street.

Clinton’s ad says, “I’m experienced, I’m capable, and I’m qualified like no one else to be President.” It says it in a pretty matter of fact and perfunctory way, but it says “this is who I am and this is why you should vote for me.”

Sanders’s ad doesn’t seem to say anything at all, except maybe “look at all these hard working happy white people.” It doesn’t give any idea of why voting for him would be a good idea. It certainly doesn’t give me any reason to vote for him, unless perhaps I’m aspiring to be a hay farmer. (I found the use of the Simon and Garfunkel song puzzling…it was already old when I was a teenager and I’m over 50…)

Then again, I know that “mood” ads can be very effective when selling products, so maybe I’m way off base here.

I like Bernie’s ad. I think it plays well. I believe it will have very high impact because voters this cycle are not interested in being policy wonks - they want someone who they feel is going to fight for things that will make the country better for them, they want less divisiveness, more unity, less hating of each other or tearing each other apart over differences in views.

I’ve seen news on this from several different sources and the reaction in the comment sections is pretty astonishing to me. Many people say they’ve watched it over and over again, many say they cried. I think most of all the electorate is fatigued and worn out - the last 15 years have been quite trying. They just want to believe someone has their interest, and the interest of the country at heart.

Or I’m all wrong about this and it’s just a shitty political ad - it remains to be seen of course :slight_smile: .

I can see both sides of that. It’s kind of “empty,” and yet, it hits an emotional note. I think it works for Bernie more than it would work for most pols, in that he has a long history of actually being an advocate for working-class people and farmers.

I find this astonishing too, even inexplicable. What would make someone cry over a political ad? Especially one seemingly as pedestrian as this one? It’s true that I don’t really get the enthusiasm some people have for Sanders…but to watch an ad like this over and over just seems strange. Ah well, it takes all kinds.

As a non US observer, Bernies ad is clearly assuming that everybody already knows what he stands for and that he doesn’t need to explain his position. Is that actually true in Iowa? Clinton’s ad seems insecure in some ways. If we don’t know by now who she is then its a bit late to be telling us how experienced she is.

I can see Bernies ad working with people who already like him but wouldn’t have supported him because they don’t think he has a chance to win. The repeated shots of the cheering crowds seems all about convincing people that he has a real chance.

I think Bernie is trying to show his campaign as more of a forest, and not just trees. The big picture is he wants to show people coming together - which sounds lame, but I think that will resonate with people in a serious way; ultimately, people want things more encompassing than this specific policy or that specific policy.

His commercial gives images of a strong community, it reminds people of a time that is rapidly passing in some ways. Community ties are not what they once were, many people are nostalgic for those days. The left, although ostensibly “for the people” is often seen as race baiting shit stirrers by many, I think putting a different face on it is a good move.

At least Bernie’s ad is hopeful. Thats what Obama won on, hope for a better future. Clinton’s ad is entirely about “you better vote for me because only I have the experience to save you from all these nasty things”. She needs to inject some positivity into her campaign if she wants to win.

The problem with Bernie’s ad is it’s so completely generic . You could make a nearly identical ad for any campaign including Trump. Still it’s just one ad. There is probably a place for a vacuous feel-good ad with good production values at least to rally the troops.

Here is another adfrom Bernie, the one minute bio ad which tells his basic story. It suffers from the opposite problem; it tries to cram in too much material and becomes a laundry list of talking points.

Compare with Obama’s similar adin 2008: it tells his story in just three acts: as a young community organizer, Illinois senator and US senator. Each act has one person vouching for Obama with a clear, specific point:his sense of duty, his bipartisanship, his ability to get things done.

I would presume they have done focus group testing on various concepts in Iowa and the results showed that this approach would give the best results. There is an entire industry doing this kind of research, for normal commercials as well. Rest assured when you see a toilet paper commercial, its been focus group tested extensively .