Strategic Perception, Inc.

FIRST READ: Top 10 TV Ads

Mark Murray
March 12, 2010

If it's Friday, it's time for another First Read Top 10 -- this time a look at the top TV ads of the cycle (so far):

1. "Demon Sheep." Need we say more? (Caveat: It's a Web video rather than an actual TV ad.)

2. "One Tough Nerd:" Michigan gubernatorial candidate Rick Snyder, a former Gateway exec, has made a splash with his quirky "One Tough Nerd" ad campaign; he even aired one of the spots during the Super Bowl.

3. Frankenstein's Coroner: This had to be nastiest race for coroner ever: "Igor, Igor, I need a heart, a spleen and a liver for tonight's sale," one says to another. "Yes, Dr. Minyard," comes the response. This is for Orleans Parish Coroner. The man running the ad, by the way, a Dwight McKenna, is a convicted tax evader who served nine months in prison. As it turns out, Minyard won the race last month.

4. "I Have The Power…": Majority Leader Harry Reid, the most vulnerable incumbent senator in the country, is betting, in part, on this line to get reelected: "America's most powerful senator, Harry Reid."

5. Birthers, Conspiracies, and Tea Parties, Oh My: McCain attacks Hayworth for identifying with birthers (Like "Demon Sheep," this is a Web video.)

6. "My Only Regret Is That We Hired Him": By far, the most brutal ad of the 2010 season. This spot, by challenger Dan Hynes, featured an old clip by late Chicago Mayor Harold Washington saying he wished he had fired Pat Quinn, who's now governor of Illinois. Quinn won the primary, but ouch…

7. The Queen: Here's another tough ad -- by Rick Perry against Kay Bailey Hutchison. Perry criticized her bank-bailout vote, as well as being the "Queen of Earmarks." The ad's kicker: "Sen. Hutchison, voting with Washington since 1993." Perry, of course, won earlier this month.

8. There Will Be Oil: The League of Conservation Voters has this tough ad against Roy Blunt in Missouri (as well as against Michele Bachmann in Minnesota): "There's a stain on Roy Blunt's record," the ad says. Then a character supposed to be Blunt shakes hands with voters and leaves oil stains on all of them.

9. The Outsider: Another vulnerable incumbent, Blanche Lincoln, plays the outside game. In her kick-off ad, facing a primary Democratic challenge from Bill Halter, she separates herself from Washington -- and her own party.

10. Blue, 42, Hut, Hut: Running from Lincoln's left in Arkansas is Bill Halter, who uses a football coach to make his point.