Another top director emails in about the new Obama ad — “Firms” — and points to another recent Obama ad that jumped out to him as having higher-than-usual production values. He wonders if Team Obama has recruited some ringers from Hollywood to up the game on the quality of ads to compensate for being outspent by Team Romney on quantity:
Building on what was said by other directors in your posts about the Romney singing ad’s production values, I’d point you to the previous “He’s the problem” ad to show that a trend is developing here:
This one didn’t receive as much attention, since the concept and script are still formulaic political ad stuff, but the execution was clearly on another level, and I think we’re going to see a lot more ads like this.
In the body of this spot, it’s all the standard cliched elements … stock shots of empty factories and offices, a newspaper front page, some boring SEC documents, and a photo of Romney. But, Obama’s guys have the skill through their use of color, depth, and motion to take those stale elements and make them something fresh. To me, it actually looks more like the title sequence of a network TV crime show than your standard flat, boring political ad. On a low budget with probably a day to put everything together, this level of detail and sophistication takes serious talent.
Comparing the expertise in these latest couple ads to everything else the campaign has put out, I’ll bet some ringers showed up in Chicago recently.
If so, it would be a very smart reaction by the campaign to the realization that they’ll be massively outspent. If you can’t buy as much ad time as your opponents, you have to make each ad you do run that much better. Even if it means paying twice as much for an A-list editor’s hourly rate, that’s peanuts compared to the millions you’re spending on each media buy.
The Obama campaign also has a massive advantage over Republicans when it comes to recruiting this kind of talent, since the Republican Party is not exactly a welcoming environment to artists and creative types. Hollywood is liberal, and filled with talent that would jump at the chance to take a break from the studio back-lot and spend a few months on Axelrod’s A-Team for the thrill of seeing their work impact national politics. It’s actually surprising to me that this hasn’t emerged as a noticeable issue in the past.
-signed (a professional filmmaker who’s kind of envious of the guys on that secret Axelrod A-Team right now)
We have a reporter working on getting the backstory to the “Firms” ad, including who deserves the technical credits, and hope to have some answers later today.
Late Update: The Obama camp tells us that, no, no ringers were involved in the production of these ads. Same crew the camp has used all along.
David Kurtz is Managing Editor and Washington Bureau Chief of Talking Points Memo where he oversees the news operations of TPM and its sister sites.