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Lowe Releases Television Ad; Wismer to Follow?

Armchair media critic time! Democratic candidate for Governor Joe Lowe has released a television ad for the last week of the primary:

My questions for you, dear readers:

  1. Does the ad work for you? Will it work for South Dakota Democratic voters?
  2. How about that right hand, pointing at us three times: solid, forceful, executive gesture, or subtle code for right-wing tendencies?
  3. Will the Susan Wismer campaign release a counter ad, or are they confident of victory that they'll save their cash for the general?



  1. 1. Yes. Would hope so!

    2. Seriously?

    3. I'm not confidant Susan's heart is in it. I think she sounds like she's so mad about Pierre, she's running just to do it right. Which is fine, but it smacks of still doing things 'her' way and not fighting against uranium mining and Keystone XL is not the way to go about it.

  2. CK 2014.05.28

    I think it's an ok ad...He probably could have left out the hand gesture, as it seems forced. (And is it just me, or does he seem slouchy, and a little bit crooked, as in his tie or jacket? I can't quite put my finger on it.

    I doubt we will see anything from Wismer...Have we seen anything yet? She seems somewhat unwilling to put herself out there?

  3. Rorschach 2014.05.28

    Wismer sent out a very lackluster postcard that didn't say "Democrat" or "Democratic Primary" anywhere on it. It said, "I won't leave 48,000 South Dakotans out in the cold without access to health care." But it didn't mention the word "medicaid." The action language was, "Vote Susan Wismer for Governor on June 3rd."

  4. Lanny V Stricherz 2014.05.28

    I heard yesterday, that she was down in SE SD last week at 5 different towns and before she met with the people with whom the meeting was scheduled, she shook hands and introduced herself to every last person in the respective cafes. She also went to a meeting in Hudson with a bunch of ethanol folks, (unscheduled) she talked very intelligently about the railroad situation in the state, (of keen interest to these folks) and they were pretty excited. Also the rest of the folks in Union country are not were not very excited about Joe Lowe, because of the way he used all of the flood resources on Dakota Dunes and skipped everybody else all the way to Yankton.

  5. Rorschach 2014.05.28

    I think folks know that it was Dennis Daugaard who sent Joe Lowe and the National Guard at enormous cost to protect the mansions in the country club community of Dakota Dunes that were built on a sandy flood plain by the river.

  6. rick 2014.05.28

    1. No. Hours, possibly minutes, went into its writing, creation and production. It reminded me of a Karl's TV ad with the hoaky flag background. He looks like a pitchman, not a governor ... yet.

    2. Hand gestures are important, but they should be used rarely and only to underscore the most important part of your 30-second message, not every point of your message.

    3. I got Susan's postcard. The blurry photo showed her greeting (?) two older people at a public event. It was unbelievably unimpressive. Made me wonder if they sent the wrong photo to the printer and nobody proofed the card before mailing it out. This leads me to think there will not be money or time left to take out a TV ad. She'd be money ahead to simply call it quits. Sorry if that sounds harsh, but nobody -- even Stephanie -- should expect to start a campaign so late and so laid back with any expectation of winning against a competent opponent who's been working hard for months.

    The major problem with this ad, and it's Lowe's problem in his campaign, is he's delivering the entire load of hay in 30 seconds. He should have picked out one issue to hammer home he's bringing a long needed change to Pierre. If he wins the primary, he needs to hire a messaging czar to keep him in sync with normal people's ability and willingness to understand issues.

  7. Kal Lis 2014.05.28

    The ad needs a better backdrop. It looks a bit too much like a used car salesman ad.

    The stiff delivery lessens that used car salesman vibe. I think someone tried to coach him to give a different visual by pointing. He needs some Heidelberger interp coaching.

    He picked solid Democratic issues and seems earnest and competent. Ad earns a B

  8. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.05.28

    On production values: isn't the ad about as good as anything else KELO turns out?

    Oh! You got Sue's card! Can you e=mail me a copy? I suspect your fellow media critics would enjoy a chance to review it.

  9. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.05.28

    Lanny, if those folks are unhappy about how the flood resources were used, will they be showing up to vote against Dennis Daugaard in the primary? Will the be voting for Mike Myers in the fall?

  10. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.05.28

    No "Democrat" on the postcard, even when that's the target audience for the primary? Boo.

  11. MJL 2014.05.28

    I got the card too. It is already recycled.

    As far as the ad goes, I give it about a C+. He needs to start running in the general election. To do this he has to make sure people people hear his name. His name is only mentioned once. Once. Most people that will catch this video will hear it first and not pay much attention to the visuals. "Joe Lowe" needs to be brought up at least three times in the 30 seconds.

    He is also speaking too fast. This is the big part in my opinion that makes it feel like it is a car salesman ad. It does give him energy and at is good. He just needs to channel that energy into a more controlled pace.

    His gesture with the right hand is only problematic for being too high at times, covering the face, and it looks a bit stiff. I don't think his problem is actually gesturing, but trying to contain the gestures and reign them in. I have a problem also with his not moving the left hand at all. It makes him appear that he is keeping something back from his audience. It would be better if he used both hands from time to time in the ad. I would also like to see an open hand gesture instead of a pointing finger (except maybe at the very end to do an Uncle Sam image.) The open hand is less aggressive than the pointing gesture.

    I think the message is good. He hits important points that will be brought up in the general election (pay for women, eb-5 scandal and lack of government transparency).

    The background is also an issue for me like several have mentioned. It is impersonal. It looks fake and I don't like the stock photos that are being used. With today's technology, you can film almost anywhere on the cheap and get quality film. Film it in a meeting hall in South Dakota. Get footage of children playing as you talk about supporting our children by fully funding education. Get some film of you on the prairie as you share your experience in trying to protect this state from environmental damages. Get footage of you with some real life working class South Dakotans.

    This is not about where he stands on the issues right now. This is about name recognition. I have to agree with Rick on this too. Pick one issue that you stand for that Democrats and the general public can connect with (ie. Eb-5 scandal, expanding medicaid, improving education, protecting natural resources from uranium mining and land grabs for oil pipelines) and develop that in 30 seconds.

  12. Ken Santema 2014.05.28

    I have to agree with the comments of this commercial being too much like a used-car salesman pitch. The finger pointing from this commercial doesn't surprise me. In the Brookings forum Lowe was constantly moving and used his whole body to communicate. Wismer tended to stand still behind the podium while speaking. I was never in debate, so I'll leave it up to the many SD bloggers that seem to also be debate coaches to look deeper into that. But from my perspective it seems like Lowe is going after votes, while Wismer is hoping the votes will come to her.

  13. larry kurtz 2014.05.28

    Send them both some money.

  14. Monty 2014.05.28

    Good for the Lowe campaign for putting the money toward gross rating points and not production values. It won't win an Addy and it doesn't need to - but gross rating points will win a primary.

  15. Nick Nemec 2014.05.28

    I'd make the "Joe Lowe" logo bigger. It's all about name recognition and both Democratic candidates need to do more to increase their name recognition.

  16. Shirley Harrington-Moore 2014.05.28

    Larry Kurtz, how much money have you sent the candidates? Just asking.

  17. larry kurtz 2014.05.28

    So far in South Dakota, i have sent $50 to Wismer and Lowe, $100 to Stace. Candidates in Montana and New Mexico have also gotten money from me.

  18. larry kurtz 2014.05.28

    I have convinced nearly every Democrat i know in my home state of South Dakota to register as earth haters and vote for Lora and Stace.

  19. larry kurtz 2014.05.28

    After the primaries, Rick Weiland, Corinna Robinson and the winner of the Dem gube race will get some money.

  20. larry kurtz 2014.05.28

    Sen. John Walsh will get some money, as will the winner of the Dem US House primary in Montana, so will the gube primary winner in New Mexico.

  21. Chris Francis 2014.05.28

    It's not all that clever visually, the spot should of been shot on site at the Capitol, or even on a back road, much more casual in delivery would of been better, drop the suit, essentially, do what Rick does. That all being said, I like Joe, his heart seems to be in it, but I'm not sure he has the base of traditional primary voters on his side, let's hope so, cause he's the best chance in the fall for the party at this point.

  22. larry kurtz 2014.05.28

    We expect to run Clinton/Warren in 2016.

  23. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.05.28

    Kal Lis, had I been coaching, he'd have been waving his arms the entire time, and probably bouncing in and out of the frame.

  24. Kal Lis 2014.05.28

    BS Your kids did what told them to do stylistically. I don't recall an arm waver in the bunch. A few may have talked too fast, but speed is an occupational hazard

  25. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.05.28

    Ha ha ha! I was lucky to have kids who were good at doing what I say and not what I do.

  26. Joe Lowe 2014.05.28

    Thanks for the review. I am just damn passionate about getting rid of 40 years of Republican control, that it is lucky you did not have tie my hands down to my side. I did take your comments to heart and we will re- shoot this in the AM.

    I do want to comment about Dakota Dunes. When a National Type 2 Incident Management Team is ordered, we receive orders and a set of objectives from the ordering agency. We can not just go where we see fit. So we just did not skip everyone else. We operate very much like the military. So if military units were deployed to Poland we can not just wander over to Russia. Respectfully, if you are having problems with us following orders then do not vote for Dennis he sent us to the Dunes.

  27. Roger Cornelius 2014.05.28

    Don't worry too much about the ad this late in the game, clean it up where you can and move on.

    Your real work starts on June 4

  28. Bill Dithmer 2014.05.28

    Joe, read my advice to Rick above. The same applies to you

    The Blindman

  29. Chris Francis 2014.05.28

    Much respect for Joe Lowe for actually commenting back on a blog post critiquing of all things, a 30 second video pitch, needless to say, go get em' Joe!

  30. Jessie 2014.05.28

    I like that Joe Lowe is following this blog and responded.

Comments are closed.