Tuesday, March 10, 2009

All Three TV

All three of the major candidates for Omaha Mayor have their new TV ads up.
See them here (and we'll comment on them, and the money race, later this morning).

Hal Daub, "Securing Our Future"

Jim Vokal, "One Candidate"

Jim Suttle, "Nothing Subtle"


All Three TV

Our thoughts on the ads:

Hal Daub, "Securing Our Future"
All around good piece. Hal sitting in a bright Christmas sweater in a classroom, happy guitar music, then immediately dropping "murder rates are up", could be softened. Maybe just stick with "violent crime". Also maybe less teeth in the smile at the end, but otherwise, the message was good. Daub talking about different ideas seems to resonate. People expect that he is thinking outside the box, and this spot conveys that.

Jim Vokal, "One Candidate"
We're fine with the message that Jim Vokal is putting out: He'll work to fix the pension issue. And spelling out what the early retirement figure is what people will take away from this spot. That's been the theme of the past month, and Vokal will try to ride it.

Here's our only problem with this ad. Where is Vokal looking? Is he looking off at the off-screen "interviewer"? Or is he looking at the camera? It is probably the former. But when the closeup comes at the end, its hard to tell if he is looking to his right, or looking at the camera and has a lazy eye.

Jim Suttle, "Nothing Subtle"
This is Suttle's intro piece and it's not bad. It seems to be a little light on Suttle's background, which is really his strongest selling point. Sure there's the giant "30 Years" on the bridge (more on that), but it doesn't say where his experience was, in what, or what his position was. "Building big projects"? OK, so was he putting in rivets on bridges, digging ditches, what? (We know the answer, but the public doesn't.)

OK, so then there's the rest of the imagery going on. First off, let's just say that we HATE the honky-tonk guitar. "Hey, we're Midwestern! Aren't we all Folky!" (Shuddering.)

Then there are the giant graphics, which again will be the take-away from this spot. And not necessarily what they say. Just the image alone. We were reminded of them from the opening title sequences from movies such as "North By Northwest", "Heroes" and "Panic Room". (See a shot from "Panic Room", beneath Suttle's images at right.)

While these images look really cool, you end up looking at the graphic itself, as opposed to what it says, and the message it's supposed to convey. They also fail to use Suttle's campaign logo.

But our final thought on Suttle's spot is...THE GIANT RED JACKET. Hey Jim, maybe try a sweater? A light pullover? Or, maybe just tough out the cold. It reminds us, alternately, of Ralphie's brother Randy, from "A Christmas Story" or George Costanza's giant Goretex jacket (that he kept knocking stuff over with).

Next time Jim: Fleece.


Then we come to the money game. At the time of writing this, the NADC website doesn't seem to be updated yet, so we go from the info in the OWH story

The candidates' fund raising from January1 through March 3:
Daub: $173,886
Suttle: $125,951
Vokal: $91,143

Cash on Hand:
Daub: $183,581
Vokal: $68,544

These numbers show solid leads by Daub and Suttle over Vokal. The fund raising numbers show particularly that Daub is continuing to rake it in, and Suttle is gathering up the cash from (likely) Democrat donors. Vokal, on the other hand, is battling Daub for GOP dollars, and is clearly coming up short.

When we turn our attention to Cash on Hand, we see similar numbers, this time with Suttle and Daub neck-and-neck and Vokal way behind. Now, the Vokal camp has argued that they already spent around $60K on TV in January. At that point, they took the opportunity to begin the air war and get Vokal introduced to the public.

Then came the Omaha Police Union flyers and the flap that they caused, and Vokal continued to get publicity. Some of it bad, to be sure, but it gave voters the opportunity to learn more about him in any case.

Daub also hit the airwaves in January, arguably to counter Vokal's early ads. Daub's strategy at that point was likely insurance for the primary, but also to make sure that he was not letting Vokal get an edge on him for the general.

But Vokal has to worry about getting to the general first. So will his gamble of going on TV early -- and spending the cash -- pan out for him? Suttle is just now introducing himself to the broader public, but his camp's argument is that it's at a time when the public is finally paying attention. So is he "wasting" time with his intro ads now, or is it the prime time to be noticed?

In any case, with all three major candidates on TV, it's interesting to see what their ad spends are for this week:
Suttle: $27,000
Daub: $25,000
Vokal: $15,000

Again, Suttle has to go strong in his initial buy. Daub won't be sitting back (or probably be sitting down) from now until May. Is this buy strong enough for Vokal, considering he went up initially in January? Vokal's manager says, "When we say we're going to have the money to compete, we're going to have the money." Hmm.

Well, one way to look at it, for Vokal, is that he first needs to get to the general. If he has to spend all his cash to get there, then he can probably raise enough in the final month (arguably) to compete. While he can't go dollar for dollar with Suttle in the final four weeks, does he have to at this point?

Interesting question. Interesting four weeks to come.

Things have kicked in.

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3rd floor watcher said...

Everything about Jim Vokal's commercial was good except for Jim Vokal.

Anonymous said...

Enjoy being on TV while you can, Jim! It's going to be a rough reality check when April 8 hits and it's time to turn your attention to a crippled commercial real estate market.

Anonymous said...

I hope Hal is not as snippy as his supporters.

Anonymous said...

Not as snippy as the "Pit Yorkie" Jordan McGrain!!!

macdaddy said...

All 3 were pretty bad, but Suttle's was the most watchable. He also had the better message. Had he ditched the TV blooper music he might have had something outstanding.

Daub: is proposing after school programs...like midnight basketball? And he's going to solve Omaha's crime problems by turning it over to the feds? That's bold.

Vokal: yawn. The words on the screen distracted me from what he was saying. After fixing the pensions, what else ya' got?

Suttle: Clean Energy companies? Does that mean he's going after companies invloved in the production of clean energy or companies that are going to put solar panels and windmills on their property?

I grade them: Suttle A, Daub B, Vokal C.

OmaSteak said...

Four years of any of these guys is likely to be pretty bad for the taxpayers of Omaha. Here's a solution for the under-funded police/fire pensions...leave the pension fund alone. When it runs out of money, the city declares bankruptcy and the "pension problem" disappears. Yeah, a little hard on the retired police and fire folks but welcome to the real world of finance in the 21st century.

Anonymous said...

Jim Suttle looks like he just left a casting call for FARGO 2.

Anonymous said...

OmaSteak: The City filing bankruptcy and leaving the thieving pensioners high and dry? Brilliant! But what implications would it have for the City and the citizens? And have the conniving fire and police retirees insured their place at the top of the payout on any Chapter 13? I heard of a city in northern California that did this because of police pensions.

ttg said...

Daub's ad wants voters to fear gangs that aren't rioting at 180th and Dodge. Voters fear the economy not gangs. And Vokal's ad attacks policemen and pensioners.
He may as well attack the Pope because some priests are pedophiles. Daub's approach is more grounded but too dark.

"Subtle"'s ad is self effacing rather than self absorbed. Very positive ad. He doesn't ask voters to fear crooks or policemen. Voters will like this approach. Smart ad.

macdaddy said...

Combine Suttle's ad with quite a bit of campaign cash on hand and stir in Obama's GOTV organization and you have 4 more years of a Dem mayor. You Daubites might want to quit heaping scorn on Vokal and start paying attention to Suttle.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Got an e-mail that the new ED of the NEGOP will be the guest speaker at the Omah Young Republicans meeting tonight. They meet at 7pm at DJs Dugout at 114th and Dodge. Might be a good opportunity to find out how the party is going to turn out the vote this spring.

Anonymous said...

Why does Jim Vokal look like a crazed robot? Throw a wig on his head and he is Small Wonder!

Anonymous said...

I'm disappointed SS that you missed the opportunity to compare the Suttle type face to that of the Fox television show "Fringe".

Surely, there is an amusing analogy in there some where.

Street Sweeper said...

Yes, "Fringe" as well. At least that's what I read. Never seen "Fringe" myself. And I could have swore they did that in Spiderman as well, but I maybe not. Updated the post to note "Heroes" instead.

Anonymous said...

2:50 PM,

I think you stumbled on to something...

Jim Vokal was clearly sent by Skynet to destroy us all. Only one person can save us now.

3rd floor watcher said...


Anonymous said...

SS, you should stop relying on the OWH for news. I did a long time ago, and I find myself better informed. Robynn forgot to include the cable portion of the tv that all candidates bought. If you factor that in I think you'll find Daub actually spend more. Than Suttle. Clearly Vokal is hurting. Why can't I think of anything other than a horse race as an analogy for this race so far. Vokal wanted to be the front runner, but is clearly running out of gas. Suttle is trying to come off of the pace. And Daub has measured Vokal and sees Suttle coming on at the stretch. As Terry Wallace might have said....and down the stretch they come Vokal losing ground quickly, Daub at a steady pace and Suttle picking up steam. At the wire is Daub followed by Suttle and..........Vokal finally crossing the line. Unfortunately in this race we only pay win and place. No dough for show.

in the know said...

11:02AM - Let me answer that for you??

1.) You think business' are going to move where there is a high/growing crime rate? Ask Detroit, Cleveland.

2.) Tell that to the lady 2 blocks from Ackerman Elem. in Millard who got assaulted.

3.) Tell that to the people in South Shore Estates who have gotten their cars broken into and in some cases stolen.

4.) Tell that to the people who have had homes broken into, garages broken into in the Millard area.

5.) Tell that to the family of Julius Robinson who was shot to death in a Millard apartment complex.

6.)Tell that to the family at 136th and Andressen whose husband was shot as his home was broken into.

7.) Tell that to the Omaha policeman's family who was shot and later a YouTube video was aired showing those who shot him celebrating.

IN 2002 and 1995 there were officers killed by gang members.

Go to the bridge at 144th and Old L street in Millard there is gang graffiti there that says, "shoot the cop" underneath.

Crime is all around us and progressively getting worse. We need to get a handle on this immediately and our current mayor has done very little.

Without strong crime prevention, schools, after school programs, etc. Jobs and businesses will not flow to Omaha.

As far as involving, the Feds. Quite a few cities involve the FBI in going after gangsd through RICO and drug laws. These gangs are not just local, they are connected and are wide-spread across the nation. Chief Buske has even asked for support from the FBI.

Afterschool programs keep kids who might and possibly would commit crime off the streets and with people who give a darn about their future. Boys and Girls Clubs, Sun Dawgs, Building Bright Futures.

Did you know that it only takes $20/yr per child to join the Boys and Girls Clubs. These kids get mentoring, educational assistance, homework help, a hot nutritious meal after school and the people who work with these kids live in their community. Great job, BGC! Keep up the good work. How many crimes, kids have not joined gangs because of this organization. I can attest to many.

If you don't think gangs like MS-13, 29th Street Bloods, Crips, etc aren't in Omaha, then you are an idiot. Why should the kids in South Omaha, North Omaha not be able to get a good education, dream and be able to reach for the stars.

After-school programs are where they are able to dream, learn ways to be successful and reach those stars.

HAL DAUB has not proposed midnight basketball. But all you people think of when anyone discusses afterschool programs is midnight basketball.

Call the Boys and Girls Clubs, Building Bright Futures, SunDawgs, Girls, Inc., BoysTown, etc. and go see what happens.

I know! I've seen it and it is a sobering thought and to see these people who get paid lousy, give a darn about these kids is amazing. These people should be commended and congratulated. In some of these kids eyes, at least someone cares.

Anonymous said...

When did Building Bright Futures endorse Hal Daub?

Anonymous said...

I think the Suttle commerical needs Pete Ricketts' mother saying, "Jim, don't forget your hat"...

Anonymous said...

I thought all three ads were not bad;

Daub: he looks too sad and skinny in the face, kind of a downer. The sweater and the kids try to soften him into a more mello Hal Daub (is this possible?) He's on target addressing gangs and grafiti and he looks like he means business. The effectiveness of Sun Dawgs (the purple garages) are questionable. Yes, Bright Futures looks great, let's work with them.
grade: B

Vokal: I don't think he looks like a tough guy that's gonna take on the big bad police and fire unions, although he's correct to raise the issue. I think he should roll the dice and gamble with the pension issue and seperate himself from the other two on the issue and hope to catch a wave of public outrage over the pension spiking.
grade: B-

Suttle: You do notice the winter coat. Do you think, what a dork or he seems down to earth and a nice guy. I liked the big graphics and the points he brought up. He seems like a moderate, decent, well-balanced guy. Fairly good intro.
grade: B+

Anonymous said...

Suttle reminds me of Paul Wellstone with his goofy ads.

Concerned Nutritionist said...

Is Jim Vokal ill??? Somebody give him a sandwich!!!

3rd floor watcher said...

I was right about Vokal's fundraising or lack thereof!!

Anonymous said...

Street Sweeper -- I can't believe you haven't deleted the comment at 11:30.

Street Sweeper said...

Huh. Frankly I didn't even notice. But since you've pointed it out, I guess I'll take it down. But I will re-print w/ the offense deleted, as otherwise it may have been a cogent comment (though this will NOT be regular practice):

Suttle places his buy, then Vokal comes in with an $11,00 buy (NOT $15,000 - don't give Omaha's worst writer Robyn Tysver any more credit than she deserves) to try to keep up; they both force Daub to go back on the air.

hmmmmm........."things are starting to kick in"? Looks like Suttle is setting the pace.

GOP voter said...

Since Jim Vokal is out of the race, we Republicans need to focus on Jim Suttle. Jim gave it a good try.

Anonymous said...

Amen. Can we please not shoot ourselves in the foot as a party with this mayor's race, and start backing the republican who actually looks like they might win? We should not allow Jim Vokal and Jordan McGrain to hijack the party and keep it sitting on its hands during this race.

I know I am not the only one who feels this way, and I expect this is the source of much of the frustration directed at Jim Vokal in the comments section of this blog. He has based his entire campaign on negativity: on tearing down our strongest candidate.

Bonnie said...

Jim Vokal got a garlic-onion taste of what the Omaha Police are capable of. Something I, as his constituent, tried to address with him. Door slammed in my face. I'm sure his main issue now would be vengeance upon O.P.D. for his own reasons. Never mind the citizens who have been victimized already. What a self-centered egotist!

Anonymous said...

Bonnie: you're incomprehensible.

Anon right above Bonnie: your faux outrage is transparent. The anti-Vokal comments on this blog are generated by 2 people at most. Both of whom work for Hal Daub. And 3FW, who wants to.

bonnie said...

To anon, 9:53: No, I'm not working for Hal Daub. I do have his sign in my yard. Does that mean I'm "working" for him? Incomprehensible? What does that mean? You're just wrong.