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May 4th, 2010

Gibbons Launches His First TV Ad in 3rd CD Race

Gibbons RTLThird District Congressional candidate, Jim Gibbons, told 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. 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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About the Author

Craig Robinson
Craig Robinson is the founder and editor-in-chief of, a political news and commentary site he launched in March of 2009. Robinson’s political analysis is respected across party lines, which has allowed him to build a good rapport with journalist across the country. Robinson has also been featured on Iowa Public Television’s Iowa Press, ABC’s This Week, and other local television and radio programs. Campaign’s & Elections Magazine recognized Robinson as one of the top influencers of the 2012 Iowa Caucuses. A 2013 Politico article sited Robinson and as the “premier example” of Republican operatives across the country starting up their own political news sites. His website has been repeatedly praised as the best political blog in Iowa by the Washington Post, and in January of 2015, Politico included him on the list of local reporters that matter in the early presidential states. Robinson got his first taste of Iowa politics in 1999 while serving as Steve Forbes’ southeast Iowa field coordinator where he was responsible for organizing 27 Iowa counties. In 2007, Robinson served as the Political Director of the Republican Party of Iowa where he was responsible for organizing the 2007 Iowa Straw Poll and the 2008 First-in-the-Nation Iowa Caucuses. Following the caucuses, he created his own political news and commentary site, Robinson is also the President of Global Intermediate, a national mail and political communications firm with offices in West Des Moines, Iowa, and Washington, D.C. Robinson utilizes his fundraising and communications background to service Global’s growing client roster with digital and print marketing. Robinson is a native of Goose Lake, Iowa, and a 1999 graduate of St. Ambrose University in Davenport, where he earned degrees in history and political science. Robinson lives in Ankeny, Iowa, with his wife, Amanda, and son, Luke. He is an active member of the Lutheran Church of Hope.

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