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Welch’s 15 second TV ad: Fad or future?

By   /   February 14, 2013  /   4 Comments

Joe Jordan | Nebraska Watchdog

OMAHA–Got a minute?  How about 15 seconds?

Because that’s how long (or not long) it takes to watch mayoral hopeful Dan Welch’s latest TV ad.

It also appears to be the first time a candidate for a major office in Nebraska has downsized from the traditional 30 second commercial.

“We view it as a different but effective way to deliver a message on an important subject to Omahans,” Chris Peterson, Welch’s campaign manager, tells Nebraska Watchdog.

Welch, a Republican and former city council president, is in a five way race for the city’s top job up against Democrat Mayor Jim Suttle, independent State Sen. Brad Ashford, Republican businessman Dave Nabity and Republican City Councilwoman Jean Stothert.

But so far Welch is the only candidate in the race running TV ads—it’s believed that after four years out of office he needed a name ID jump start— and he’s had the airways all to himself for nearly three weeks.

As for 15 second political ads, according to the magazine Campaigns and Elections, they’ve been used sparingly around the country but at least one consultant, Democrat Dane Strother is a believer.

“If you can’t articulate your message in 15 seconds, then it’s probably not a very strong message in the first place,” Strother told the magazine.

He also said it paid big dividends in the 2006 Nevada governor’s race where his candidate survived the primary even though he was outspent nearly 3-1.

Welch’s 15 second ad, all 39 words of it (see it here), argues that a vote for Welch is a vote against crime.

“Dan Welch will be tough on gang violence,” says an announcer.

While Welch’s first ad ran 30 seconds it is clear the campaign believes the 15 second spot is giving them more bang for the buck.

In an interview with Nebraska Watchdog, Peterson defended the less is more strategy.

Nebraska Watchdog: Do you think the 15 second ad says something about the voter’s attention span?

Chris Peterson: I haven’t thought about it like that but that maybe an additional benefit to delivering a short sound bite.

Stothert is expected to start her TV ads before the end of the month.

Ashford threw billboards up around town in early January.

Contact Joe Jordan at joe@nebraskawatchdog.org

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  • resistwemuch

    PO’s the ad sellers.

  • Chuck Drew

    I was doing 00:10, 00:15, 00:20 & 1:00 TV ads 30 years ago back East & in Chicago. Talk about Regressive, {Conservative} you people are simply hilarious! 10′s & 15″s are of the, “more is less” mentality because the TV stations charge a premium for the shorter stuff! So that shows that Welsh doesn’t know how to manage $$$$ & perhaps should not be elected MoO because he’s doesn’t know how to get the Bang for the Buck!

    The upside to 00:10′s & 00:15′s is that one get’s more hit’s even though it cost more /sec.

    About the Welsh TVC itself; it’s of the “Baffle Them with BS” school of thought. The problem with this particular commercial is that it shows non specific pictures that don’t reinforce the ad copy. IE, it talks about violence in the streets & shows Welsh chatting up a women walking down the street smiling & having a good time, Get It?? Actually none of the visuals match the copy but the opening shot is giving a bit of Free ad time for the bar in the Old Market!

    All in all, the people creating this TV Clutter are total amateurs which is another reason NOT to vote for Bimbo Welsh as he hires Incompetent Hucksters!

  • Watching_From_Lincoln

    So, Campaign Manager Chris Peterson thinks his target audience doesn’t have the intelligence to maintain more than a 15 second attention span? That speaks VOLUMES about the GOP base, now doesn’t it?

  • made up name

    Who’s David Welch?