Tags: Hollywood | Presidential History | media | sag | social

The Making of a Political Ad — From Reagan to Allocco

The Making of a Political Ad — From Reagan to Allocco
(Eugeniu Frimu/Dreamstime)

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Thursday, 22 March 2018 01:16 PM Current | Bio | Archive

Look at this spot. It’s a rough cut I got from the candidate just after it became obvious he wanted to step up and run for the House in the 11th congressional district of New Jersey.

It wasn’t shot on 35mm. Wasn’t done on 16.

Nor on a digital camera like RED or one of the other new ones floating around.

It was produced with a crew of one on a Google Pixel Phone with (he admitted) a stabilizer.

The phone is one you can use to call your mom or your dentist, but here it was used to call for a radical change in the way Congress serves constituents.

He proposes to use contemporary technology to poll the registered voters in his district on every vote and vote the way they want.

The music? Some pretty weak stock stuff that may not make it to air. In fact, the whole commercial may not make it to air. It is more than 40 seconds, too long for a 30-second buy and short for a 60-second even if you threw in repeated calls to action, phone numbers, logos, and affirmations that Allocco stands by what he says in the message.

It will, when it is finished, run all over social media and be forwarded and seconded by its supporters, the people in the 11th who signed petitions to get Allocco on the primary ballot June 5.

Pat told me he did the commercial in 60 takes. That’s 57 more than Ronald Reagan used for me in 1988 doing a message endorsing George Bush for president. Of course, President Reagan had also been president of the Screen Actors’ Guild (SAG) which gave him a little edge on Allocco. In truth, we would have gone with the first take, but he was in an affable mood and clearly felt at home and even had a little nostalgic glow with the lights and apple crates and wires and crew.

Pat’s script itself did not require a continuity script girl/boy since there was no script other than what Allocco said each time, the words coming from his mouth and not from a cue card or teleprompter.

The location may not at first seem overwhelming. But when you consider the steps Pat Allocco takes toward camera and the originality of his message, so devoid of ego and self-inflation, that street you see in the video may be nothing less than, yes, the cradle of democracy.

Tom Messner worked forever in advertising. In politics, he avoided the predictable negative bent and did positive ads for Reagan in ’84 and for Bush in ’88 along with Bush’s convention film. The agency he co-founded created NASDAQ’s first branding, Volvo’s comeback, and Fox News’s “We report. You Decide.” Then learning from the pols he partnered with (Roger Ailes in particular), they brought attack ads to such formerly benign areas such as telecom (MCI). At 73, he’s doing two things he never did before: Blogging here on wildly unconnected subjects coming on the heels of last year’s adventure: the writing of his first play, a musical “Dogs” destined now for either Broadway or The Pound. To read more of his reports — Click Here Now.

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TomMessner
When you consider the steps Pat Allocco takes toward camera and the originality of his message, so devoid of ego and self-inflation, that street you see in the video may be nothing less than, yes, the cradle of democracy.
media, sag, social
535
2018-16-22
Thursday, 22 March 2018 01:16 PM
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