Third District Congressional candidate, Jim Gibbons, told TheIowaRepublican.com yesterday that his campaign will begin running television ads across the district today. The “substantial” network and cable ad buy is Gibbons’ first since entering the congressional race last November.
The 30-second ad entitled, “The Mat,” focuses on Gibbons’ background as an athlete, coach, and financial advisor. The ad ties his background to the issues that he has been pushing on the campaign trail – stop wasteful spending, lower taxes, and create jobs for Iowans.
The entire ad features Gibbons’ voice. It shows two young men wrestling, scenes that depict him as a financial advisor and as a candidate speaking directly into the camera. Gibbons did a good job speaking to the camera, something a lot of candidates struggle with. I also think it was wise not to have him look too much like a candidate. When Gibbons is speaking to the camera, he has his suit jacket off and his sleeves rolled up.
In the current political environment potential voters tend to be skeptical of most politicians, making it necessity for candidates to be able to talk directly to the voters via the camera. Gibbons is shown speaking directly to the camera for 17 seconds, or over half of the length of his ad. That might not seem like a lot, but Terry Branstad only speaks to the camera for 4 seconds in his 30 second TV ad.
Gibbons’ new ad marks the beginning of his media campaign. 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.
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