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.
“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.
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