From USA Today:
The ads are jazzy, edgy, hip — everything you don’t expect in politics. Which is the point for at least two candidates using them this year to portray themselves as likable, with-it guys.
The ads for Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty and Maryland Senate candidate Michael Steele look more like spots for Target or Apple or The Gap than for a pair of Republicans. They’re the latest attempt by political admakers to break through the clutter of news, noise and ads for other candidates.
Steele’s ads are playful and chatty even when he criticizes his Democratic rival. One puppy ad starts out with Steele knocking on the camera lens. “Hey, me again, Michael Steele,” he says. He perches on the first letter of his name, poking fun at negative television ads and a headline that says “Steele Hates Puppies.” “For the record, I love puppies,” he says. The closing shot shows two heads, his and the little dog’s.
Democrats have mounted a puppy counteroffensive that mimics Steele’s ads — jaunty music, white backdrop — and borrows the image of him with the dog. The upbeat narrator says Steele opposes abortion rights, supports President Bush on the Iraq war and supported Bush’s veto of funds for stem cell research. He concludes brightly, “Michael Steele, he likes puppies, but he loves George Bush.”