Written by: Mathew Tully from IndyStar.com
In Indiana political circles, it has become known as "the movie trailer ad." It's a fitting title for Gov. Mitch Daniels' latest campaign commercial, a visually simple but stunning 60-second piece of work that makes you feel as if you're sitting in a dark theater watching a preview for the latest Will Smith blockbuster.
"Mitch, the Sequel," perhaps?
Some of Daniels' critics, not surprisingly, have knocked the ad, saying it exaggerates the governor's accomplishments, even as they acknowledge its stylistic strengths. The governor's supporters, again not surprisingly, call it an example of how he does things differently from other politicians.
Here's my review, offered in the style of movie poster blurbs: "A big thumbs up." "Four stars." "You must see this ad!"
My apologies for the exuberance. But after watching all those boring and cliched TV ads this spring from presidential, gubernatorial and congressional candidates, it's nice to see someone offer something different.
Quite different, at that.
If you haven't seen the commercial, here's a summary:
Dozens of jobs announcements flash on the screen along with other policy wins. Then, the ad offers a promise (or, depending on your view of the governor, a warning): "And We're Just Getting Started."
Finally, as the music reaches its crescendo, a series of words — "Courage. Vision. Results. Mitch Daniels, Change That's Working." — appear and float away like the opening scene in "Star Wars."
Campaign spokesman Cam Savage said the idea was to create one ad that "tied all (of Daniels') accomplishments together." The reviews, he said, have been glowing. (You can view it for yourself on the campaign's Web site: www.mymanmitch.com.)
"In all the years I've been around politics, I've never seen an ad get this kind of positive response," Savage said.
The governor's critics might not like the ad. But it's clearly a striking piece. More than anything, it's proof that if you're willing to make tough choices, you'll have plenty to put on the screen after your first term.