Ted Cruz’s Ad Game Is Strong

 

‘Tis the season of political ads. About 47 percent of them are uninspired and another 52 percent are downright embarrassing. This cycle, the remaining one percent belong to Senator Ted Cruz. Today his campaign revealed a pitch-perfect parody of the printer scene from Office Space, which itself is a parody of gangster movies:

Earlier this week, he focused on the GOP frontrunner with a spot explaining Trump’s personal and policy failures in an entertaining way:

Go back a month to when Cruz highlighted his endorsement by another popular reality star, who is beloved by evangelicals:

And the ad that started Cruz’s media winning streak recast border enforcement not with fear or racial appeals, but with empathy for Americans facing lost jobs and stagnant wages:

Most political ads have me lurching for the remote. But instead of changing channels, with Cruz’s ads I just want to hit “replay.” Which is your favorite, and have any of the other candidates approached this level of innovation in their spots?

There are 22 comments.

  1. Judge Mental Member

    I like Office Space, and I like the one they pulled, with the group therapy session.

    • #1
    • February 12, 2016, at 4:36 PM PDT
    • Like
  2. Dustoff Inactive

    Fine Art.

    • #2
    • February 12, 2016, at 4:40 PM PDT
    • Like
  3. The Question Inactive

    It just occurred to me, I gave money to Cruz, so I helped pay for it. I am pleased.

    • #3
    • February 12, 2016, at 5:25 PM PDT
    • Like
  4. Mike H Coolidge

    The first two are discussed here and here.

    • #4
    • February 12, 2016, at 5:35 PM PDT
    • Like
  5. Mike H Coolidge

    The fourth one is annoying because highly productive people are the only place where open borders is pretty close to reality. Highly productive people have to deal with competition, why should others be immune to it. Because they make less? How’s that different than welfare?

    • #5
    • February 12, 2016, at 5:43 PM PDT
    • Like
  6. TKC1101 Inactive

    I am waiting to see which candidate uses a scene from Independence Day, particularly the ones set in Washington DC.

    • #6
    • February 12, 2016, at 9:17 PM PDT
    • Like
  7. Claire Berlinski, Ed. Editor

    I like all of those ads, actually. All are visually clever and entertaining, and I didn’t realize he had the Duck Dynasty endorsement, which, strangely enough and to my surprise, is an important endorsement to me. I mean, I won’t vote based on that, but I’m surprised how much the ad appealed to me. The business with Phil was (one of) the moments I realized, “We’ve gone totally stark-raving bananas. Officially.”

    • #7
    • February 12, 2016, at 9:20 PM PDT
    • Like
  8. Quake Voter Inactive

    TKC1101: I am waiting to see which candidate uses a scene from Independence Day, particularly the ones set in Washington DC.

    Too much collateral damage. This scene from The Kingsman presaged the entire anti-Establishment political season (some anti-militarized police action for my libertarian frenemies).

    • #8
    • February 12, 2016, at 9:35 PM PDT
    • Like
  9. Crow's Nest Inactive

    I agree. His ads are eye catching, memorable, funny, and a little bit irreverent–which helps soften the more severe image he sometimes has in the media.

    The Hillary ad, while the source material is a bit dated (not that I don’t love Office Space and quote it often enough), is excellent, too, because Hillary is just not a self-effacing person who you think spends a great deal of time reflecting on or laughing at her own foibles. So it hits both her criminal conduct and her tone\demeanor. Props to the team that put it together.

    • #9
    • February 13, 2016, at 1:06 AM PDT
    • Like
  10. Dietlbomb Inactive

    The Hillary ad makes Hillary look sympathetic.

    I really can’t comprehend how Republican politicians can be so tone deaf.

    If Hillary were a little more self-aware, I wouldn’t be surprised if this ad had been released by her campaign.

    • #10
    • February 13, 2016, at 6:09 AM PDT
    • Like
  11. Trinity Waters Inactive

    Dietlbomb:The Hillary ad makes Hillary look sympathetic.

    I really can’t comprehend how Republican politicians can be so tone deaf.

    If Hillary were a little more self-aware, I wouldn’t be surprised if this ad had been released by her campaign.

    Your comment has me shaking my head. How does this ad make the she-devil look sympathetic? Please explain the tone you refer to.

    • #11
    • February 13, 2016, at 6:41 AM PDT
    • Like
  12. Mr. Dart Inactive

    Jeff Roe & Axiom Strategies I believe. Roe is a beast.

    • #12
    • February 13, 2016, at 6:52 AM PDT
    • Like
  13. Dietlbomb Inactive

    Tom Riehl:

    Your comment has me shaking my head. How does this ad make the she-devil look sympathetic? Please explain the tone you refer to.

    She looks like a cool gangster taking care of a problem. People like cool gangsters. They shouldn’t, but they do.

    She also looks like a woman frustrated with a faulty piece of technology. There is a visceral joy in destroying an annoying machine. Who doesn’t want to take a bat to an old computer? In Office Space the printer deserved it.

    Also, the actress playing Hillary is much more attractive than the real Hillary.

    • #13
    • February 13, 2016, at 7:16 AM PDT
    • Like
  14. Randy Weivoda Moderator

    Dietlbomb: She looks like a cool gangster taking care of a problem. People like cool gangsters. They shouldn’t, but they do.

    If people indeed want a criminal for president, Hillary is their girl.

    • #14
    • February 13, 2016, at 7:45 AM PDT
    • Like
  15. Dave Sussman Contributor

    Office Space Hillary was brilliant. We’ve been having fun with it on Twitter.
    However, unless we see the ads discussed in forums like this, I don’t think most people see them.

    If ad dollars equaled votes then Jeb! would be in 1st place.

    • #15
    • February 13, 2016, at 9:38 AM PDT
    • Like
  16. Judge Mental Member

    David Sussman:

    If ad dollars equaled votes then Jeb! would be in 1st place.

    This is true, of course, but a large part of the problem with Jeb!’s ads is that they were so lame.

    I think good ads will translate to more votes than bad ones. (Yep, I’m going out on a limb.)

    • #16
    • February 13, 2016, at 10:00 AM PDT
    • Like
  17. Trinity Waters Inactive

    Dietlbomb:

    Tom Riehl:

    Your comment has me shaking my head. How does this ad make the she-devil look sympathetic? Please explain the tone you refer to.

    She looks like a cool gangster taking care of a problem. People like cool gangsters. They shouldn’t, but they do.

    She also looks like a woman frustrated with a faulty piece of technology. There is a visceral joy in destroying an annoying machine. Who doesn’t want to take a bat to an old computer? In Office Space the printer deserved it.

    Also, the actress playing Hillary is much more attractive than the real Hillary.

    Gotcha, thanx!

    • #17
    • February 13, 2016, at 10:56 AM PDT
    • Like
  18. SParker Member

    David Sussman: If ad dollars equaled votes then Jeb! would be in 1st place.

    My thumb is still calloused from angrily hitting the mute during Meg Whitman’s expensive 2010 disaster in the CA primary and general. And given a time machine I would use it to go back and not vote for her again. Several times. Somehow Right to Rise and the Jeb! machine either found that same ad agency or another one that somehow admires a style that can convert dollars into negative enthusiasm. Whatever else Ted didn’t make that mistake.

    • #18
    • February 13, 2016, at 12:56 PM PDT
    • Like
  19. Dietlbomb Inactive

    Randy Weivoda:

    Dietlbomb: She looks like a cool gangster taking care of a problem. People like cool gangsters. They shouldn’t, but they do.

    If people indeed want a criminal for president, Hillary is their girl.

    The problem is that a lot of them do.

    • #19
    • February 13, 2016, at 1:00 PM PDT
    • Like
  20. WI Con Member

    This ad and several others are great. That Office Space parody is going to leave a mark on the felon. The MSM is squealing like a stuck pig.

    It’s the exact kind of messaging I’ve been dying to see from Republicans.

    • #20
    • February 13, 2016, at 2:07 PM PDT
    • Like
  21. billy Inactive

    Dietlbomb:The Hillary ad makes Hillary look sympathetic.

    I really can’t comprehend how Republican politicians can be so tone deaf.

    If Hillary were a little more self-aware, I wouldn’t be surprised if this ad had been released by her campaign.

    It isn’t an anti-Hillary ad; it is a pro-Cruz ad. The message is, “Cruz isn’t Romney. If he’s the nominee, he’ll go after Hillary.”

    • #21
    • February 13, 2016, at 3:33 PM PDT
    • Like
  22. Melissa Praemonitus Member

    A lot of conservatives reach for righteous indignation instead of the humorous, mocking attack, but Cruz thinks more like Andrew Breitbart and the creative young people who are on the forefront of conservatism today. More than any candidate, he understands the value of snarky social marketing and knows who to hire (My friend Wendy Day, a marketing genius in my opinion, has been very effective organizing people in Michigan, and is his State Director there).

    • #22
    • February 19, 2016, at 10:45 PM PDT
    • Like