Monday, January 6, 2014


Who knew that one of my favourite TV spots from the holidays would be a political ad?

Source: YouTube

Typically, political ad dollars are either spent trumpeting campaign platforms, or slugging the platforms, and credibility, of competitors. This usually results in:
  1. Bad, in-your-face style advertising that beats you to death with a flimsy premise
  2. Advertising that all looks and feels the same.
It's a battle of voice and volume.

Who can shout the loudest? Who can nail the campaign-turning issue? Who can influence the undecided?

But Kathleen Wynne's first ad as Ontario's Liberal Premier is different. Rather than focus on her platform or her competitors, it showcases… her. And it's not a typical "getting to know you" type of spot either.

Give it a watch:

Three things I admire about this spot:

(1) It focuses on values

Kathleen Wynne wants you to get to know her better, but rather than talking about specific points or promises, she talks about her values — as a person. She loves running, she's to the point, hardworking, committed to her beliefs, and won't stop until the job is done.

She also shows you her values, too… running takes effort, running every day takes even more effort, running long distances every day takes a certain kind of mettle.

Anyone who shares her values, or admires people who have them, will have an immediate connection to her.

(2) It's raw

This ad feels real. Yes, I realize that Kathleen Wynne doesn't run along empty highways through rural Ontario on a regular basis, but it looks and feels like something she might do.

Her voiceover and delivery also feels very real and down-to-earth, as if she were talking to you at a coffee shop.

It shows her at her weakest moment — exposed, alone, at the mercy of nature and exhaustion, and also at her strongest — pushing her body to its limit, conquering herself and her environment.

(3) It's beautiful

This is, without a doubt, a beautiful piece of film.

The sprawling Ontario vistas, with rain-soaked highways, rolling farmland, and a haunting, overcast sky. The focus and determination of a body in motion, running, jogging, pushing itself through nature. And of course, the music, haunting like the sky, but with strong, forceful undertones that tell you she means business.

It works on repeat viewings, and is full of lushness and detail. Yes, I said lushness and detail ;)

It makes me wonder why more advertising, not just political ads, doesn't include those elements — values, rawness, and beauty.

Do you like this TV spot? Why or why not?

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