Strategic Perception, Inc.

A Good Ad Still Matters

SCOTT BLAND AND ALEX ROARTY
"From Tactical Spending to Amazing Ads, Here Are the Lessons of the 2014 Primaries"
September 9, 2014

Not many people took notice of Joni Ernst when she started her campaign for Senate in Iowa. Nobody considered David Perdue a juggernaut, either, when he started running in Georgia—especially with three congressman and a former statewide officeholder already eyeing the GOP nomination.

But both candidates had something their rivals didn't: A memorable TV ad. Ernst's spot barely ran on TV in Iowa, but the image of her castrating hogs was enough to capture national attention. And the Perdue campaign's depiction of its opponents as crying babies—a theme it revisited frequently during the primary—turned him from just another candidate to the race's front-runner.

There's a lot of focus in Republican primaries over the battle between tea-party and establishment-backed candidates, and rightfully so. But sometimes a memorable ad—a difficult accomplishment in an increasingly cluttered media environment—is all a winning candidate really needs.