Another installation from Minnesota Monitor as part of a new series called adMN, critiquing political ads in the state. Earlier editions look at ads by Guard veteran Tim Walz and by the Better Ballot Campaign, which advocates for Instant Runoff Voting in Minneapolis city elections.
Sometime last year, the hand-painted sign that accompanied an effigy of Jesse Ventura affixed to a North Minneapolis wall got a revision: after several years decrying the former governor's performance, it was changed to read: "Minnesota's 2nd Worst Governor." With Tim Pawlenty's help, Ventura's star had apparently bumped a bit higher than sea level; now, thanks to two more political outsiders, The Body's profile is, comparatively, skyrocketing: he's stumping for Texas novelist/governor's candidate Kinky Friedman, and he's the voice behind Independence Party gubernatorial candidate Peter Hutchinson's newest round of radio ads.
The new ads for Hutchinson and "Team Minnesota" are, well, odd. But they do offer a refreshing break from typical political ads that range from manipulatively schmaltzy to brazenly mean-spirited to flat-out dull.
Two of the three are launched by a loon call, followed by an announcer who lists off hyperbolic achievements by an unnamed politician--"As your governor for the last four years, he permanently balanced the budget, he made taxes and fees go away..." (notice the jab on Pawlenty there?). As the accolades get cheesier and cheesier--he caused children to yell "hooray," he fostered love and understanding among Democrats and Republicans (SFX: smooching sounds)--Jesse Ventura's voice breaks in, amid the static and feedback squeals of a pirate-radio takeover, telling us that "career politicians will do anything to get re-elected."
Trademark Ventura, he snarls, "Let's stop the BS and move Minnesota forward with honesty and common sense."
Like the other two ads, "It's time to think independently again" is the theme of the third spot, which opens with a politico talking about the "little people" and how much he likes them. In a broadside at Mike Hatch, the archetypal careerist says, "Sure I'm tough, but I'm a nice guy. Even my dog likes me."
Created by Spyglass in Minneapolis, the commercials are airing in the Twin Cities, Rochester, Duluth, St Cloud, Brainerd, Moorhead, Mankato, and Willmar, says Hutchinson campaign manager Steve Struthers. "[Ventura] is the most recognizable voice for Minnesotans who are fed up with the partisan gridlock that has paralyzed our state; so he was a natural choice for us to use in order to break through the clutter of advertising," he says.
People across the state have responded favorably to the spots, Struthers says. "They appreciate Ventura's straight talk and the fact that he was not beholden to any particular special interest groups. They are excited to see that Peter has those same qualities--not a career politician, not taking contributions from PACs or lobbyists--without some of the downsides associated with Gov. Ventura's celebrity status."
Hear the three spots here, then tell us what you think: will the ads help Hutchinson "shock the world"?