Jim Gibbons, a former NCAA champion wrestler and coach, included a heavy dose of wrestling imagery in his first television ad, which goes up in central Iowa today:
Rough transcript and some analysis are after the jump.
Here’s my rough transcript:
(visual of two young wrestlers shaking hands and practicing) Gibbons voice-over: I learned a lot on a mat like this as a wrestler and a coach. Set goals. Make a plan. Be dedicated. Work hard. Lead your team by listening.
(Gibbons steps into frame in front of wrestling mat, speaks to camera) I’m Jim Gibbons, and I used these lessons as I became a financial adviser. (shots of Gibbons advising clients) Help families save for the future, control spending and balance budgets. (Gibbons speaks to camera again) I’m running for Congress to stop wasteful spending, lower taxes and grow Iowa jobs. I’m Jim Gibbons, and I approved this message not because I can still do that (gestures toward wrestling mat), but because I’ll always fight for you.
This commercial strikes me as a lot better than Gibbons’ first web video, which gave the viewer no sense of what the candidate stands for. The production values are also better. I don’t think many financial advisers are helping their clients control spending or balance the family budget, but I get the connection he’s trying to make.
Having outraised his primary opponents by a large margin over the last five months, his advantage in the race will now be more apparent to voters. The ad will also allow him to build his name ID across the district, while also defining the issues that his campaign will focus on. It is likely that Gibbons will be on TV from now through the June 8th primary.
Gibbons chief opponent, State Senator Brad Zaun, was the first candidate in the race to run a TV ad. Zaun ran a TV ad back in January, but his buy only totaled about $2,800. TheIowaRepublican.com was told that the Gibbons TV buy is more in line with what the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee spent on ads thanking Congressman Boswell for this vote for President Obama’s healthcare plan.
Being the first candidate in the race to begin a TV campaign has a lot of advantages. Right now, the only political candidate that Gibbons is sharing the TV with is Terry Branstad. As the primary day approaches, more and more candidates will be running TV ads, which means that it will be more difficult to communicate a message due to all of the political clutter. For the 2nd and 3rd congressional candidates, it could get especially cluttered since both districts share some of the Cedar Rapids media market.
The other advantage to running ads now is a significant one. People are already casting their votes for the June 8th primary via absentee ballots and satellite voting locations. Having a positive ad up and running during this period of time may help Gibbons pick up some early votes.
From where I’m sitting, Gibbons needed to get his name out there. I’ve seen approximately 20 yard signs for Zaun for every one for Gibbons. Then again, I live not far from Zaun’s stronghold (Urbandale).
State Senator Zaun and Dave Funk (the tea party favorite) will not be able to afford nearly as much paid advertising as Gibbons. Moderate Republican Mark Rees may be up on the air soon if he hasn’t changed his plan to commit $200,000 of his own money to his campaign.
What does the Bleeding Heartland community think of this commercial and/or the third district Republican primary?