New Liberal Campaign Ads

(Brave New) “Worldview”

The first of what I would presume is a series of campaign ads for the Liberals.

My reaction? Meh.

The ads for the Quebec market that have been released so far take on a different character. I’m not sure if there will be equivalents of both in French and English, or whether there’s some other reason why they were posted in this order…

There’s another one called “Bilan Environnement” that’s essentially the same (at least in style and character). Again, it’s understated — or underwhelming — depending on your point of view, I guess.


47 Replies to “New Liberal Campaign Ads”

  1. Hi I’m Michael Ignatieff and I’m standing in the woods (which is in no way meant as an allegory for the political wilderness) and I’ve loosened the top button of my shirt and affected a fake grin to try and appear casual.

    “Where ever I’ve worked I’ve met Canadians that were the best the world has to offer.”?

    Who writes that shit? He’s spent the vast majority of his working life as an expat. Are we supposed to not remember that? The best Canadians, by extension, must also have left for greener pastures. What a hapless bunch of twits the Libs are.

    How about this as a revised text, “Hi, I’m Michael Ignatieff and I’m not quite as big a cock noggin as that other self aggrandizing asshole running that other major party. Vote for me and I might not be as big a douchebag as Harper.”

  2. Can’t say i disagree with anything psa said, though from every indication Iggy IS a bigger douchebag than Harper. When Harper goes casual in commercials, he’s sort of robotic but with Iggy it’s like…..cmon……you’re clearly an elitist prick who only the converted could truly identify with as an average Canadian. Can we just press reset so new leaders emerge?

  3. “reaches out to India and China”
    We do that already by peddling their horrendous products in our stores and murdering our own manufacturing in the process. What we need is more R&D and specialization in our economy…..become the best at something or manufacture something others cannot and run with it. Clinging to our old economy while at the same time opening the floodgates to imported crap is hardly a decent recipe. Good ties with India and China are critical, but what about the EU?

  4. “Hi, I’m Michael Ignatieff and I’m not quite as big a cock noggin as that other self aggrandizing asshole running that other major party. Vote for me and I might not be as big a douchebag as Harper.”

    That is just too funny.

    RT, thinking of adding a guest writer from time to time? SNL looking?

    But seriously. The English ad is fine, although as mentioned, open to some lampooning. A blue sweater vest would have been a nice touch.

    It looks like the games’ afoot!

  5. Ignatieff was a prof. Surely to …. a prof is qualified to deliver a message and inspire people otherwise he doesn’t remain a prof for long, right? Why the need for ‘staging’ assistance from rank…real rotten rank…acting coaches?

  6. I would grade those ads as fair, not good, definitely not excellent.

    If this is the best that Ignatieff’s handlers can do then the Liberal Party is in deep Shit.

    Should have had a real democratic leadership race instead of a coup.

  7. This ad seems to validate the Cons narrative and is entirely forgettable.

    Last week he started to finally get it right: “We need to end four years of deception and divisiveness” or something like that.
    If they are gonna spend money on pre-writ ads they should be simple exposes of the above. Using Iggy to hammer in the points would do a lot more for his image than this piffle.

  8. I wonder when these ads will be on TV or are they just for YouTube?

    Meanwhile the Montreal Gazette continues the love affair with Iggy.
    Is Michael Ignatieff afraid of being called a wimp?

    It’s hard to see another reason why the Liberal leader would want a fall vote

    “Go home, Ike, you talk too much for a fighting man.”

    -Wyatt Earp to Ike Clanton, after Clanton drunkenly challenged Earp to a gunfight.

    Oct. 25, 1881, Tombstone, Arizona Territory.

    Maybe this time, Michael Ignatieff really means it. Maybe the Liberal election hawks have goaded him into trying to force an election he is far from sure of winning by whispering to the press that he will look like Stéphane Dion if he doesn’t.

    It wouldn’t be the first time that a political leader has chosen the wrong circumstances in which to make a show of strength because he was afraid of being called weak.

    Call it the Joe Clark syndrome, after the prime minister who in 1979, tired of being called a wimp, tried to force a gasoline-tax increase through a Parliament in which he had only a minority government. The result was the defeat of Clark’s Progressive Conservative government after only nine months in office, and the loss of Clark’s leadership.

    One is hard-pressed to think of another reason why Ignatieff should announce his intention of trying to bring down the Harper government at this point.

    There’s no evidence that Canadians are clamouring for an early opportunity to replace Prime Minister Stephen Harper with the Most Interesting Man in Canada. (“I prefer not to live in Canada. But if I must, it’s so that I can be prime minister. Vote Liberal, my friends.”)

    Even among Liberal partisans there are few apparent symptoms of election fever. In the early buildup to a possible fall campaign, turnouts of only “about 50” were reported for a couple of Ignatieff appearances in rural Quebec last month.

    And in the week leading up to this week’s two-day Liberal caucus meeting in Sudbury, some party members seemed lacking in enthusiasm for a fall election.

    One of those whose enthusiasm did not wane is Ignatieff’s Quebec lieutenant, Denis Coderre. But Coderre is safe in his north-end Montreal riding of Bourassa. And since it’s a French-speaking Quebecer’s turn to be the next Liberal leader, a defeat for Ignatieff would bring Coderre one step closer to achieving his ambition.

    Published poll results give the Liberals no better than an even chance with the Conservatives of forming yet another minority government. And the Liberals are led by an untested campaigner.

    Liberal pollster Michael Marzolini told the party caucus in Sudbury on Monday that the Liberals hold a 38-to-31 lead in popularity over the Bloc Québécois in this province, the Globe and Mail reported yesterday.

    That result differs significantly from that of last week’s CROP-La Presse survey, which had the two parties tied at 30 – and the Bloc ahead 35-to-26 among French-speaking voters.

    Anyway, the Globe reported, Marzolini also told the Liberal members of Parliament that Canadians “took the summer off” from politics, so the summertime polls might not mean much.

    Ignatieff could have waited patiently to defeat the government at the time and on the issue of his choosing.

    Instead, he has gallantly given his opponent a month’s notice so that he can choose that issue himself. Would the Liberals go into an election having defeated a popular measure proposed by the government?

    Or, the government could use the time to negotiate for the support of one of the opposition parties. Thomas Mulcair of the New Democratic Party indicated the NDP might be open to such negotiations. Indeed, would the Liberals themselves refuse an offer of significant concessions from the government?

    So call me a skeptic, but I’ll believe Ignatieff is a fighting man when he actually brings down the government.

    By the way, the challenge to Earp mentioned at the top of this column was issued on the eve of the famous “gunfight at the O.K. Corral”- from which Clanton, after announcing he was unarmed, fled.

    Don MacPherson is probably the best political writer in Quebec…

    As for the deficit, the BQ will say that Iggy voted for it and encouraged it…. WK is out of touch.

  9. Northern PoV,

    One of the themes is to define Ignatieff. That is why it is bland and comforting. But this is also where the rubber hits the road. Remember when Dion tried to define himself as someone walking in the woods with his dog, or as a floor hockey player. Whether it was true or not (and I think the Liberal’s were claiming truth). it fell flat because it wasn’t believable.

    Just like Harper’s sweater you get the “wait a minute” factor.

    That is where the Grits will be watching to see if a Harvard prof (you can tell a Harvard man, but you can’t tell him much) will be believable.

  10. Well that’s great news Scott, I’m personally looking forward to the one where Iggy telephones some barbecues. That one should be suffused with the faux folksy charm that Canada is calling out for in our political leadership. If these doinks actually force an election, they’re doomed. I’m predicting a Con majority if the Libs bring Harper down instead of giving him and wee Jimmy Flaherty a good length of rope.

    Maybe they should have Iggy smoking a pipe in the next ad, perhaps a wingback chair, some slippers and a loyal hound reclining by the hearth. He can glance up from his leather bound edition of one of his own books and smile,

    “Why, hello Canadians, I didn’t hear you come in. Welcome. I’m Michael Ignatieff and I’m a nice fellow, look a cozy fire and a dog! You are now comfortable and at ease. You might know me as that aloof patrician who dwelt elsewhere for so many years, but I have came back to Canada, back home, because I wanted to give back to the land that gave me so much. I wanted to cement my legacy as an important historical figure and I couldn’t do that from abroad. So now you can vote for me and take your own small part in the history of this great land that I represent. It will be just like you were sitting at my feet, enjoying my cozy fire. With a dog.”

    Yeah, that’s the ticket ! Then maybe Ken Dryden can come out and stop some shots for Israel and then its a Liberal Party of Canada sponored Beachcombers marathon FTW! That Relic, he’s such a scamp.

  11. RT – I wasn’t trying to be cute – because you’re specialty is marketing, I wanted to hear from someone in the know instead of the partisan and/or Iggy hater attacks.

  12. Sandi — Good question. It’s somewhat hard to say, not knowing what the platform or even the gist of the campaign is going to be. I suppose two kinds would be in order seeing as the Libs strategy will have to be two-pronged.

    1) Blunt, hard-edged ads attacking the Conservative record. Something like “Grit Girl” does on YouTube (which are easily of high enough quality for broadcast), stressing job losses, out-of-control deficit, etc. but inter-cut with memorable black and white images (unemployment lines, shuttered factories, unflattering pics of Harper & Flaherty, etc.).

    2) A series of optimistic, high-energy, forward looking ads, colorfully illustrating the Liberal “vision” with the usual collection of bright, energetic, multicultural faces, wind turbines, high-tech something or other (things that connote economic activity), and a brief (very brief) clip of Ignatieff convincingly uttering the party’s catch-phrase.

  13. Perhaps that’s the plan…..the hard hitting later, when it counts.

    I’ m not a good judge of these things, mostly because I hate the negativity of the Cons, or any party for that matter.

    Boy times have changed. Bill Davis was premier of Ontario for approx 14 years – and his winning manner was that he was bland. I think it made people feel safe or something.

  14. Going negative along won’t work, and going negative pre-writ after the stink we made about the Cons’ negative pre-writ ads would be hypocritical.

    We will need negative ads to shake loose Conservative votes. I’m sure those will come. Thing is, we’ve shaken loose Conservative votes in the past successfully; where we failed was in converting those votes to the Liberal column because they didn’t like the alternative. In the end, they went back to the devil they knew.

    I always find the positive ads kind of bland too, but I think the idea is to (kind of late, imo) try to build Ignatieff up as an alternative, get people comfortable with him as a leader, so that when we shake those Conservative votes loose with the negative ads to come, they’ll consider the Liberals a good choice to park their support with.

    We’ll see if it works or not, but I’d argue this is just phase one, and a necessary first step.

  15. There should be a three pronged approach.

    The intimate Ignatieff with his pipe and slippers. Gotta frame the guy the way you want Canadian’s to see him (Uncle Mike?)

    The Liberal Party is ready. The solid ideas, plans, and people in the Liberal Party arsenal just waiting to be of service to Canadians.

    The brown smelly stuff that is oozing off the CONs. You know the CRAP party. Neocons, Harpercons, Harpercrits, etc. etc. Stabbing, and stabbing and stabbing. Blood everywhere, getting angry, gotta storm the gates and disembowel all captured barbarians!

    Anyway, it will take all three for the Liberal’s to be successful.

  16. I really don’t see many Con votes as being able to be “shaken loose” as some suggest. Their basement of support is in the low 30’s, which makes a Lib victory extremely difficult, save perhaps a 126-122 sort of minority. If Iggy doesn’t gain 6-10 seats in Quebec fuggedaboutit……they’re toast. I see Ontario as a strength for the Cons. With Dalton running things here, the Liberal brand is tainted outside of its “we’d vote for a corpse if it were Liberal” base.
    The rural ON vote is gone.

    I look for the BQ to block an election if Liberal polling takes an upswing…..why would they risk losing 10-15 seats when they sit near full-potential in seat total at the moment?

  17. Tomm,

    I know I’ve been a bit of a tirade against you lately . . . I’ll see the doc about my myopia ;).

    But I like your post above. A little sugar, spice, and sh*t, if I may summarize.


  18. I say he looks great to me…..and sounds good too…I trust him….we need a change …what good is it for him to sound like the Crappers…ABH

  19. 3 more TV ads are forthcoming in the following few weeks, according to Liberal spokespersons.

    I’m sure they’ll be helpful.

    Please tell the Dear Leader that grinning like a shark is unbecoming of him. Obviously, focus groups are now involved.

  20. Jeff — In the past, the Libs have started out positive and then have turned negative as the campaign wears on. I think this is the exact WRONG approach. They need to hit hard and often right off the mark and put the Conservatives on the defensive with a pile of scathing attack ads before turning the message positive. Otherwise, their negative ads just look like desperation.

  21. I just watched them, and I think they are designed to intro Michael and give the general public an idea of who he is–instead of the image the cons have tried to portray.

    And while the Quebec ads didn’t appeal to me, I phoned my BIL in Montreal and asked him to watch, and he said it would be effective, fwiw.

    They will have more specific stuff later, more policy, etc…but why on earth would they release it prior to the writ? Oh yeah, because Harper is so interested in an honest open give and take on the issues—lol.

    This will work for now…..

  22. Red,

    Last time they did wait too long in the campaign to go negative. With Kinsella involved, I doubt that will be the case this time. But going negative pre-writ, particularly when we don’t know when the election will be (fall, spring, 2012) would be a mistake IMO, and a mis-reading of the public mood.

  23. The fact that these hapless boobs up and announced that they’d pull a non-confidence vote before Parliament was even in session is just wickedly stupid. You don’t in football games by calling your plays out loud from the line before the ball is snapped. For all of the former might of the Liberal war machine it is quite evident that the canny pols that propelled a creepy little operator like Chretien to power have been moved out. Now it is the focus group, averagists in charge and they clearly are too stupid to feed themselves without protective headgear.

  24. And while the Quebec ads didn’t appeal to me, I phoned my BIL in Montreal and asked him to watch, and he said it would be effective, fwiw.

    You need new friends….

  25. Yeah, Aurelia, you need to choose your in-laws better 😉

    (I’m assuming that was what CWTF is implying . . . it seemed a rather strange response to a rather innocuous comment)

  26. Joseph, the ads in French will likely miss the mark. We can start with the atrocious French he’s using (and add the accent) to the message.
    Yes, he is attacking the Harper Government with some force, but really he needs votes taken away from the BQ to win more seats.

  27. Content is what matters.
    They know he’s anglo.
    Harper’s accent is crapola too.
    The arts cuts killed the Con vote in Quebec,
    Yet they say they are spending? Bah

    Point is, he is saying he relates to their values.
    AKA, he feels their pain.

    P.S. Commenting off of phone sucks….

  28. If the Liberals would be serious about making sure Harper does not have another day in power, they would go for a coalition with the NDP and the BQ, they would surely win a majority if they run the right candidates in the right ridings… they could probably limit the Conservatives to less than 50 seats… otherwise, they are just fools as they pretty much proved they have nothing serious to offer other than anotehr brand of insanity and truly, very simillar special interests… I’m afraid that Ihhy made it pretty clear though that he would rather see a Conservative majority than a Coaltion that works… go figure… all that education and nothing to show for it in terms of clear thinking… really sad… his problem is not one of being an elitist but just being a totally confused human being… goes to show that as long as all you do is reading, writing and very little clear thinking (I have no doubt there is a lot of muddy thinking going on all the time)… not much of a difference you can make…

  29. The fact that these hapless boobs up and announced that they’d pull a non-confidence vote before Parliament was even in session is just wickedly stupid.

    And when they did the exact opposite of that every other confidence vote, where they waited while the NDP and BQ jumped in to say they were voting no, leaving the Liberals little wiggle-room, was that wickedly awesome?

  30. They announced that they were going to try and pull the plug with no galvanizing issue to focus on, no banner to fly and no alternative policies to sell. The Libs have been a floundering, inept mess throughout the Harper reign. They haven’t done a good job of recognizing issues that resonate with the public and they haven’t done a good job of capitalizing on the Con’s scandals, lies and screw ups.

    Despite all of the flaws and fuck-ups from team Harper, the Liberals have had to scramble just to gain enough traction to pull within spitting distance of a dead heat. So, out of nowhere, with parliament not even in session, out comes the threat of a vote, followed by some full on mediocre ads. Yeah, awesome job. I’m sure bellwether Cherniak is delighted. I detest Harper but I just can’t take this version of the Liberals seriously and I don’t trust Ignatieff as far as I can throw Charles McVety.

    Iggy and his team set themselves up to look just as cynical with the speech and subsequent ads as Harper. Last time it was a dysfunctional parliament that wasn’t in session. Now its enough is enough of a parliament that isn’t in session. Iggy was given the gift of a possible coalition and he sat back and scuttled it just as he and his team sat back and passively abetted Dion being torpedoed. Why the hell would the Bloc or the Dippers be inclined to help him now? And why, with weeks of notice, should they be inclined to shore up his confidence call? Strategic retardation.

    With the dealing he’ll have to do just to get a vote to put us into election mode he might as well have given away the same goodies and formed a coalition. Now he’ll face an election (if he gets the votes), an election he stands every chance of losing.

  31. PSA, there are lots of issues, but Canadians don’t worry about politics until the kid’s are back in school.

    But when the writ drops in a few weeks, they will care about the crummy economy, and just wait til the big flu deaths start.

    Dead elderly we expect, but dead kids? Dead 35 year olds? Not a winner….

  32. Yes, that would be fun–an election that features the leaders blaming one another for flu deaths. A blogger’s dream.

  33. “With the dealing he’ll have to do just to get a vote to put us into election mode he might as well have given away the same goodies and formed a coalition.”

    He does not have to do any dealing. Either the NDP and the Bloc will support Harper or they will not. I suspect Ignatieff feels he wins either way.

  34. “every chance of losing,” psa. surely you jest. Ignatieff has as much of a chance as winning an election at this point as Harper does, if not a better than even chance.

    With the conservatives beginning to rally for a rampant flu pandemic in hopes of it helping them retain power, I sense the ground must really be beginning to crumble beneath their feet.

    “A vote for Ignatieff will kill you”

    Heck, just get it over with and head south. I’m sure you can catch the traveling tea-baggers before their mobile assault on intelligence rolls into DC.

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