Austin Mayoral & Place 1 TV Ads

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We've reached that time, just days before the start of early voting in municipal elections, when campaigns finally take to the airwaves with their television buys. What fantastically awesome and awful ads await us this year? Continue on below to find out!

Mayoral Race: Brewster McCracken

Folksy-ish music? Yes.

On campaign message? Yes.

Walking into City Hall shot? Yes.

Actually see candidate talking? Yes.

Total number of pears left uneaten in family room? 7.

Mayoral Race: Lee Leffingwell

(also see similar version #2 of ad here)

Folksier music? Yes.

On campaign message? It almost runs over you.

Walking into City Hall shot? No, like last year.

Actually see candidate talking? No, like last year.

Haven't we seen this footage before? Yes, like, you get the picture.

Likelihood for Phillip Martin to “hate” this: High.

Mayoral Race: Carole Strayhorn

(also see original more awesome Strayhorn ad)

Creepy, ominous music? Yes.

Creepy, fake cheery voice? Yes.

On campaign message? Yes, if crazy is a message.

City Hall shot? No, apparently City Hall moved since she was mayor.

Place 1: Chris Riley

Folksy music? Yes.

Number of bicycles in ad. 1.

Number of posed children. 5.

Walking into City Hall shot? Yes.

Born and raised inside city hall? Possibly.

Place 1: Perla Cavazos

Folksy music? Oh hell no.

Urban pseudo-latin spicy music? Oh hell yes!

Most memorable but most undefined message? Possibly.

Gives pro-downtown impression when played with sound off? Ironically, yes.

Laura Morrison-esque downtown building hate? NOOOOOOO! (meaning yes).

Number of Cesar Chavez Cavazos Cervezas I need now? Seis.

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About Author

Former Publisher & Owner of the Burnt Orange Report. Political Thinker, Digital Explorer, and Time Traveler.

56 Comments

  1. As I said on the twitter
    those $500,000 condos are what pays for the “human side of issues”. Downtown is such a sugar daddy for city services that anybody who tries to get elected by playing against it is either unqualified for office on the basis of intelligence or is bordering on too irresponsible for the job.

    • Robert Ryland on

      Bitterness
      and anger will shrivel you up from the inside, Mike.

      And you're wrong. The middle class tax base outside the Bubble pays plenty. Are you saying that those with property appraisals below $250K don't pay enough in taxes? It's the influx of new residents with large margins of disposable income that forms the market for those condos and drives up prices across town, and those who have the misfortune of making less than six figures are just shit out of luck if they had any notion of living within 5-10 miles of where they work. Home prices in Austin have risen several times faster than wages over the last 15 years. Stop blaming people who work for a living for the perceived lack of progress toward your New Urbanist paradise. God forbid they have more pressing shit to worry about.

      • Downtown
        pays many times in property taxes what it gets back in city services. In general, the farther out the suburban part of Austin, the less it pays compared to the cost of services it receives.

        Most recent citation: http://www.ci.austin.tx.us/dow

        Page 6:


        An economically healthy Downtown benefits all Austin citizens. Downtown-generated taxes

        pay for City services outside Downtown. Downtown's land area is only 0.6% of the total land

        area of the City, yet it generates over 5% of the City's property tax. An area eight times the

        size of Downtown is needed to generate the same average taxable value as the Downtown.

        • Robert Ryland on

          Yes.
          They make the most money, and live on very high-value property. And there's – well, a high density of commercial property there, too. Nothing unfair about those numbers at all.

          But since we're on the subject, tell us: how much should a family of four making, oh, ~$60K a year, pay in property taxes? As an example, a friend of mine in just such a financial position coughed up close to $5K last year, and now he's moving his family to Kyle. From a house of less than 1200 sq. feet, south of William Cannon.

          The irony now is that all of the affordable housing is being built in the suburbs – no, the Hill Country isn't the only suburban retreat near Austin. So lots of working families are having to move out to a place they can afford, taking their property tax dollars with them, as well as a healthy % of their spending. And that will lead naturally to …[wait for it]….more sprawl.

          Yes, the people being priced out of their own neighborhoods would include many of those who work for the state and the city, and folks who teach your kids, sack your groceries, stripe your parking garages, build your condos, pave your streets, project your movies, process your paperwork, operate the machines, fix your car, wait your tables and even play that wonderful live music we all love so much.

          So I sure hope “rich people” continue moving to Austin, 'cause if this insanity keeps up, Austin's gonna need a whole lot more of them.

          As for the idea of Perla's ad “hating” on downtown high-rises, it's pretty intellectually dishonest to equate the tone and approach of Perla's and Laura Morrisons ads. It may surprise some of you to find that there are other constituencies in this town besides the NIMBY-ANC crowd and the hyper-enlightened New Urbanists.  

          • Logic broken
            Those suburbanites are getting $2 in city services for every $1 they pay in city taxes; the downtown residents are getting $1 in services for every $8 they pay in taxes. Somehow, you turned this into a virulent screed about affordability?

            Here's a hint: is it possible that central housing units are so unaffordable because there's not enough of them paying those property taxes (which have more to do with land than structures)?

          • Robert Ryland on

            Cite your source
            so we can all know exactly what you mean by “city services” and “taxes”.

            Again, how much should the rest of us pay? You tell me how much of my money Central Austin needs to make their “services” adequate, and if I can't afford that, I'll move out of town.

            Wait, nevermind.

            I already did.  

            They pay more in taxes because the land they occupy is highly coveted and thus very valuable. One reason it's valuable because of it's proximity to a 'high density' (there's that phrase again) of affluent consumers.

            And round and round she goes!

            How much of the city should be $500,000 condos and $2000/mo apartments, Mike? Give us a ballpark number so we'll at least have some idea when and where the madness will end.

          • Already done
            I gave you a link for the 8-for-1 for downtown; the 1-for-2 followed logically from that.

            I find it quite telling that you and Rahm are so vitriolic about this – basically, the subsidy from urban Austin to suburban Austin wasn't quite enough for you, so you decided to get an even bigger subsidy by moving to (Buda in his case, where precisely in yours?)

          • Robert Ryland on

            Wrong targets m1ek.
            Mike, I hate to assume too much, so I'll ask first: I take it you live in central Austin on a modest middle class income and your property appraisals have put you behind the 8-ball somewhat? If so, I feel your pain – I was there just a few years ago. And I too have no love lost for those who continue to carve up the Hill Country with McMansions and drive their Hummers on Mopac at rush hour.

            But you seem to have trouble differentiating between the Steiner Ranch/Circle C crowd and those living in a tract home in Kyle & Manor. So here's a hint: one arrives at their new homestead by choice and at their leisure; the other is sent packing due to forces almost entirely beyond their control. Guess which one can afford your tolls and trains.

            If your whole point is based on the frightening reality that those who own higher-value property and make more money pay more taxes, then may I be the first to welcome you to America and progressive taxation.  

          • Several points
            1. People who don't live in Austin don't get to lecture us on our city council races.

            2. People who are living in the suburbs of Austin are inevitably subsidized by Austin residents (don't get me started).

            3. Fewer downtown condos means even higher (proportionally) tax bills for the rest of us.

          • really though?
            1. People who don't live in Austin don't get to lecture us on our city council races

            I'm pretty sure anyone with an account and an opinion has the RIGHT to comment on anything that they wish.

            You are a valuable source of information, but this is like the 3rd thread you have hijacked and berated everyone who disagreed with you. You need a drink, a shrink or a lay.

            Despite your angry pontifications, I can only recall a few instances where you offered empirical evidence to support your bold claims. Perhaps that is a way to prove that your FACTS are correct without blasting everyone who offers an OPINION that you can't agree with.

        • not relevant
          to use a source that refers to “land area” is a little bit of a misfit, no??

          are there many single-family dwellings downtown?

          are there many multi-family dwellings with $1m+ penthouses outside of downtown?

          i appreciate the source, but it really isn't relevant. it literally compares apples to aardvarks.

          • Very relevant
            They use land area because it's a very good way to visualize the problem, and because the demand for city services is related more directly to land area than to number of housing units.

            And the type of dwelling is irrelevant – the point is to show that downtown development generates tax revenue far in excess of its costs – it doesn't matter if said development is houses, apartments, penthouses, strip malls, office towers, or anything else. It's rebutting the claim explicitly made by many and implied by many more that downtown is somehow subsidized by the rest of the city – the facts are exactly the opposite: suburban parts of Austin pay lower taxes because those $500,000 condos exist.

            It's even more impressive when you consider how much development downtown is off the tax rolls.

          • Robert Ryland on

            So?
            I've conceded the fact that more valuable property generates more revenue in property taxes. So what? Would you have us become like Detroit, or Baltimore, where the suburbs support a decaying inner city? You haven't issued a call to action. What's the solution (assuming this 'ratio' of yours is a functional problem)? A flat property tax? A surcharge of some kind on those who don't live in a designated central area? Are you asking for those who live in a home valued at, say, $150K to pay an additional fee so that they're not nbeing “subsidized”?

            Look, Mike – I live in Elgin, Bastrop County, and I pay for roads and services there that I don't use. Doesn't bother me in the slightest. The bulk of my spending is done in Austin, where I work. I contribute to city sales tax revenue and patronize local businesses. You want all of us out of here? You want us all to drop $5 in a toll booth so we can come to work everyday? You want swipe cards in every bathroom in Austin so we can pay our fair share for the city to process our poo? Name your price.

            You've thus far called us leeches, idiots, and fools for not buying into your perspective, and you haven't even proposed a better policy or outcome aside from more condos (which your “source” even indicates only 7% of Austinites can afford). Yeah, Mike, I can't for the life of me figure out why those 'trogs' – many of them Democrats – didn't buy into your sales pitch for light rail. Good luck with those persuadables on your next go 'round.  

          • Get real
            The vitriol in this thread has come from you, not me. Look in the mirror.

            You have cause and effect severely missed up – a tax system which subsidizes the suburbs is what results in the doughnut-hole, eventually, but so will preventing downtown or central development. The cities that turned into doughnut-holes, in other words, don't have the vibrant downtown we're trying to get here.

            The $500,000 condos that you and many others are so set against are the only thing keeping Austin afloat – if it weren't for those, the taxes on the single-family homes in Austin would be higher, not lower. The taxes that apparently drove you and Rahm McDaniel out of town would have been even worse. On the other hand, if we could get even more people living downtown to help subsidize those bills, they'd be lower.

            The point you and most typical suburbanites miss here is that Austin's tax bills are higher than Bastrop's or Elgin's because we pay for a lot of things that those towns don't. How many homeless shelters do Bastrop and Elgin maintain? How much mental health services do they pay for? How much low-income housing do they pay for? How many major roadways do they maintain themselves (that aren't part of the state highway system and thus ineligible for gas taxes)? (Etc). You can't logically claim to support these services and then complain about paying for them via city property taxes, and then, after you leave, complain that somebody found a way to pay for them in your absence in a way you don't like.

            As for your own situation, if you're anything typical, Austin pays more to provide you with services when you're here than they get in taxes on you while you're here. The sales taxes don't come close to covering the bill (my own solution, if you're interested, would be a guaranteed rebate of gasoline taxes to local areas similar to what the Feds do for states, ensuring they get back at least 90 cents of what they pay in, since due to the mechanics of the roadway system, Austin pays out a lot of gas taxes but gets very little back in return to maintain our arterial roadway network).

          • Rahm McDaniel on

            Strawmen and you
            Mike,

            I think it's pretty clear that you are projecting positions that people do not hold onto them, because you want to argue some pet issues. And that's fine, but you should know it's pretty transparent.

            Here are a couple of examples:

            The $500,000 condos that you and many others are so set against

            I'm not sure what this even means. Where did you get the idea that Rob (and presumably myself) are “against” $500000 condos? I can't speak for Rob, but I'm FOR vertical density downtown and beyond. What I don't do is pretend it's without consequences or a panacea.

            The taxes that apparently drove you and Rahm McDaniel out of town

            Taxes didn't drive me out of town. The scarcity of high quality housing stock and consequent high prices drove me out of town. But I'm moving back next month, and will therefore be able to lecture you on city council elections, but that's besides the point: taxes are not what's driving this, taxes are a function of values, which are. Density is one solution to deal with the price problem via increasing supply, but density also has the effect of increasing footprint value which in turn plays a role in gentrification, and downstream, sprawl.

            The point you and most typical suburbanites

            “typical suburbanites”. Hilarious.

            You can't logically claim to support these services and then complain about paying for them via city property taxes, and then, after you leave, complain that somebody found a way to pay for them in your absence in a way you don't like.

            This is what I'm talking about- he didn't complain. You complained about it for him.

             

          • Nonsense
            To humor you, I went back and double-checked, to make sure I wasn't being unfair.

            Some complaints from Robert:


            How much of the city should be $500,000 condos and $2000/mo apartments, Mike? Give us a ballpark number so we'll at least have some idea when and where the madness will end.

            So when he uses the word 'madness', am I to presume that he's NOT complaining?


            It's the influx of new residents with large margins of disposable income that forms the market for those condos and drives up prices across town, and those who have the misfortune of making less than six figures are just shit out of luck if they had any notion of living within 5-10 miles of where they work.

            Again, is this a complaint? Sure looks like it to me.

            Pesky facts again. Sorry they can't be brought into line. But you guys sure do sound truthy. The facts must have a density bias or something.

            And, by the way, both you guys are parroting the ANC line here, so I find it very disingenuous to claim to be 'in favor of density'. That plan of attack has lately shifted to: Fight density for years, succeed 95% of the time, then when about 1/20 of the necessary density ever gets built, complain “look, sprawl still happened! The density that got built didn't solve all our problems! Gentrification! Sure, we're in favor of density in some places. Just don't ask us for specifics.”

            The overall approach of (VMU with opt-outs plus McMansion impacts) will lead to less overall housing units in the city down the road, by the way. McMansion's impact on duplexes and garage apartments was serious enough to lead the Planning Commission to vote for major modifications to the ordinance on that issue alone, even before it became clear how many neighborhoods would simply try to entirely opt out of VMU.

          • Rahm McDaniel on

            not the same thing, though
            Sure, those are complaints, but not complaints about…

            paying for them (city services) via city property taxes, and then, after you leave, complain that somebody found a way to pay for them in your absence in a way you don't like

            Anyway

            And, by the way, both you guys are parroting the ANC line here, so I find it very disingenuous to claim to be 'in favor of density'.

            That's because, and I say this as someone who agrees with you about most planning issues, you are paranoid and seeing things that aren't there. Robert dares to have a different take form you on something and you not only disagree with him on that, but ascribe to him a whole constellation of views and associations that aren't apt. So first we're “typical suburbanites”, but now worse, your suspecting us to be agents of the ANC.

            M1ek, You're caught up in the same obsessive factionalism that makes real planning dialog impossible. And to go full circle on this whole thread, it's a microcosm of why people are fed up with the current state of Austin politics: everything is a battle between this central Austin team and that Central Austin team, and stuff that matters outside of factionalized issues gets lost in the noise.

            And worse, people caught up in it, like you, can't quite wrap your head around a view of the world that is outside of highly factionalized perspective.

            The overall approach of (VMU with opt-outs plus McMansion impacts) will lead to less overall housing units in the city down the road, by the way. McMansion's impact on duplexes and garage apartments was serious enough to lead the Planning Commission to vote for major modifications to the ordinance on that issue alone, even before it became clear how many neighborhoods would simply try to entirely opt out of VMU.

            This is exactly what I'm talking about. You just project support for the McMansion ordinance onto me, even though I think it's stupid, anti-density, and makes Austin less affordable.

            You need a break, man.

          • Sue me
            I combined two of your attacks into one – the one about him not being against $500,000 condos and the one about complaints. I do, in fact, not like to try to 'win' through volume.

            I did not say you were aligned with the ANC; although you were, up to this very post, parroting the same talking points they do (especially Robert, but you as well). If you don't agree with them, you could have fooled the heck out of me (which is why, again, I keep using the term “disingenuous”).

            If you don't want things projected on you, don't act like such a great screen on which to project. You yourself said these very words:

            Density is one solution to deal with the price problem via increasing supply, but density also has the effect of increasing footprint value which in turn plays a role in gentrification, and downstream, sprawl.

            It wasn't a large leap after that. Those are fairly standard ANC talking points that are used in discussions where the more simplistic “density bad” arguments are known to be ineffective. They are also, by the way, false in any reasonable framework of basic economics, but that's not important right now. What is important is that being disingenuous in order to confuse is a well-known tactic in issues like this one, and it's reasonably effective unless it's vigorously attacked (more examples abound on the transit side, like the road warriors who say they just want better bus service).

            So if that's not what you mean to do, then, heck, I'm sorry. But it sure seems like that's what you're after.

          • Robert Ryland on

            You began this thread
            as follows:

            those $500,000 condos are what pays for the “human side of issues”. Downtown is such a sugar daddy for city services that anybody who tries to get elected by playing against it is either unqualified for office on the basis of intelligence or is bordering on too irresponsible for the job.

            Nevermind that your first sentence is patently false, using your own numbers. 5% of prop tax revenues hardly makes downtown a “sugar daddy”, but I suppose that's a matter of perception. However, if you're trying to convince those living on the margins of this town that they're getting off easy, I doubt those numbers are gonna be terribly persuasive. And in any case, as I said, it's largely a trivial point. Btw, if there is high value property downtown that's not on the tax rolls, that's an awfully sweet deal for whoever owns it, wouldn't you say? Considering that they probably stand to make quite a nice piece of change on it if they aren't already. Who's getting 'subsidized' again?

            You then proceed to insult a candidate whom you obviously know nothing about (insulting her intelligence and qualifications) because her ad simply offers the proposition that all this focus on downtown development distracts the council from dealing with problems faced by ordinary working folks in Austin – presumably those who can't afford a downtown condo and valet parking (as clear, immediate and certain examples). That would be 93% of the city's residents, if your own cited source is accurate.

            Then you attach opinions and positions not in evidence to people you don't know, and insult them, and gnash your teeth about why they don't see things your way.

            The $500,000 condos that you and many others are so set against are the only thing keeping Austin afloat – if it weren't for those, the taxes on the single-family homes in Austin would be higher, not lower.

            As Rahm has already implied, pretending the condo rush (which isn't limited to 'downtown' by any means)doesn't drive up land values in a ripple effect across the city is delusional at best, downright dishonest at worst. Developers have found a way to co-opt environmentalists and New Urbanists and are riding a gravy train based on the age-old 'greater fool' paradigm of real estate marketing, which as we have seen (in the last year +) has a stern mistress waiting at home once the party's over. Sustainability ain't just an ecological buzzword. I too am all in favor of more density in the central core to the extent that it helps, but without a substantial affordable component to said density, it will in fact exacerbate the problem I've outlined, and browbeating old neighborhoods for not wanting to be plowed under won't get us out of the hole either.

            The point you and most typical suburbanites miss here is that Austin's tax bills are higher than Bastrop's or Elgin's because we pay for a lot of things that those towns don't. How many homeless shelters do Bastrop and Elgin maintain? How much mental health services do they pay for? How much low-income housing do they pay for? How many major roadways do they maintain themselves (that aren't part of the state highway system and thus ineligible for gas taxes)?

            We have housing projects in Elgin and Bastrop, and plenty of roads that need work, just like Austin. My taxes aren't really lower out here at all. I'm just getting better value in property, neighborhood and schools.

            My appraisals in Austin doubled between 2000 and 2006; the neighborhood's safety and school did not see any improvement; in fact, both declined somewhat. Meanwhile, many central schools like Becker Elementary are drained of students even as their neighborhood is being gentrified and property values skyrocket. The city continues to cultivate it's image as a haven for the 'creative class' and market itself to upscale new residents, irrespective of the consequences to working families who don't have the jack to move closer to downtown and can't maintain in a 'hood once the money moves in.  

            My point is that you've completely disregarded the main reasons that drive middle-class people out of town to the troglodyte communities you so despise: value. They still have to work here, and don't kid yourself that the City of Austin doesn't need them.  Berating folks for thinking about their families first in a runaway real estate market is not gonna win you any converts, as we have seen over the last week. The irony of all this is that, in principle, you and I (and Rahm) probably agree on much more than we disagree on (and I also voted for light rail in 2000) – but you choose to club folks with a 2×4 instead of trying to understand where they're coming from and meeting them where they are – as Perla does.  

          • 0% versus 95%
            Until you or Rahm stops with the completely inaccurate character assassination about tone (the only 2×4 applied here was by you, then lately by Rahm), I'm not going to respond to a vile screed of quite that length. Here's a teaser:


            As Rahm has already implied, pretending the condo rush (which isn't limited to 'downtown' by any means)doesn't drive up land values in a ripple effect across the city is delusional at best, downright dishonest at worst.

            Basic economics about supply and demand states that supplying additional housing units, at whatever price you want, will keep prices lower throughout the whole market than they would be without that additional supply, all else being equal.

            If you want to learn how to argue this point without falling into the trap of butting your head against basic economics, Kedron is a good example. Basically, gentrification concerns are a microeconomic (very micro) concern – those condos do really NOT rise land values across the whole city (more accurate to say 'housing values'). They may, emphasis on MAY, produce a rise in a small area – counterbalanced by lower prices or at least less rise in prices elsewhere.

            But again, what we see now is the result of the ANC getting their way only 95% of the time (in other words, for every 20 housing units the market would have provided over the last N years, the ANC managed to prevent 19 of them from happening). It's far more likely that the higher prices you see were the result of stopping the 19 rather than allowing the 1.

    • yep
      It's cheap populist fear mongering. If she's trying to make a point about affordability, why not a spot on all the housing developments with signs that read “Starting in the $600s” sprouting up all around the Hill Country?

      Rich people will keep moving to Austin. Personally, I'd rather see them stacked on top of each other than paving my Hill Country, and freeloading off Austin tax payers.

  2. BeatrixKiddo on

    what the heck is that?
    I can't tell if Cavasos is running for City Council or auditioning for the new feature reporter position on KEYE News. No, really, I can't tell. Does she ever say she's running for City Council? It is very pink though. Or maybe fuschia.  

  3. Nice job KT
    That's some of the best (and sharp) political commentary I've seen this election.  Really.  Esp the “volume off” analysis — worth watching each of them without sound.  Thanks for posting them.  With the predictable  exception of Carole, it's nice to see everyone running on THEIR strengths instead of AGAINST their opponents weaknesses.

    • Well
      Ads should be able to pass the bar-room test. Or as I like to call them, the “playing on the screen at Mr. Gatti's Pizza with the sound off while you listen to Jennifer Gale's 6-story retroactive downtown building code proposal”.  

  4. Let it be known
    That I have been up the better part of the night after sleeping ridiculous amounts of time this week due to 101+ degree fever which has finally broken.

    I think the delirium makes the insanity that much more refined.

  5. My thoughts on the ads
    Brewster's – Drop the weird family sitting thing, and it's totally solid. It is sleek, just like McCracken, and has this quick/hip thing going. It would do better to have more words flash across the screen (for those who mute the show), but that's it. I don't think you need to see it more than twice to get the ad. A-

    Lee's – I actually like this ad a lot. It's all about policy, it connects to the ad Lee did last year, and it has the candidate in all the shots. It has lots of text on screen (in case you mute it), its soft and welcoming. It's a solid ad. Plus, since its almost the same as last years' ads, then I don't really need to see it more than once to be like, “oh yeah, that guy.” A.

    Strayhorn – Hahahahahahahahahahahahaha.

    Riley – Solid issue ad, though it's a lot to digest in one viewing. Especially for someone that hasn't heard of him (not me, others). Great intro, great outro, and there's lots of text throughout which is good. At any point, if you flip through the TV and only catch :5 seconds, you're going to hear something solid, which can be good. This works if it plays a lot and people see it more than once, but if I only see it once, then I may be overwhelmed. A-/B+

    Cavazos – This ad comes close to the “real Austin” meme that drives me nuts. Yes, I know I'm still in Austin even if I see a condo — I can tell by all the roads I've driven on my whole life, and the Capitol building, and Zilker Park, etc. So off the bat I'm not excited. The middle to end of the ad, though, we do get her name several times and more exciting music than the other ads (KGSR also plays fun songs, people). Fewer words, easier to remember the basics (her name). I like the color match, and I like that she talks to the camera. Were it not for the “real Austin” meme, I'd like the ad a lot more. But I don't think you need to see the ad too much to remember anything from it. B+ to B- depending on how much you connect with the “real Austin” meme.

    • good analysis
      I'd also add that I McCracken's ad would have been better if he had said what the Pecan Street Project is. Something like, “I brought blah blah and blah blah together to work on the Pecan Street Project to make Austin a leader in clean energy.” or something to that effect. I am sure there are a lot casual voters who don't even know what the Pecan Street Project is.  

  6. Humor
    Gotta go on the record and say that I do not find the reference to Chavez and beers funny at all.

    Heck, if Kinky said it, somebody might think it racist… Am I missing something?

      • Robert Ryland on

        In fairness
        the reference to cervezas was made a while back, as KT noted how Perla's logo made him think (fondly) of beer-bottle labels. I had to agree, and thought it made her logo much more memorable and inviting. Connects with voters, if you will.

        Not sure where the Chavez reference comes from – perhaps the street she's on?  

  7. Rahm McDaniel on

    Ranking the ads for effectiveness
    So looking at these ads from the perspective of somebody 10 years into sales and marketing, I would rank the ads, worst to first, as follows

    5) McCracken – this is basically brand marketing. Using market research techniques they've segmented the market (in this case, voters) into an identified number of people who care about certain stuff in a certain order and those people add up to a supermajority of voters. By saying he cares about that stuff too without going into anything that might alienate anybody, the idea is that 35K or so of them identify with him, develop a preference for his brand, and vote. But he never asks for the audience to do anything (you know, like vote), and that's a problem.

    My low ranking comes down to my disdain of brand marketing without a call to action, but as brand marketing goes this isn't bad.

    4) Leffingwell – this is similar to McCracken, but a much more defined image than McCracken. McCracken's ad basically presents him as a blamk canvas upon which his target audience can project their wishes. Leffingwell, on the other hand, tells the audience who he is in the hopes that they will admire it. it's just a different approach. he also doesn't ask for the order.

    3) Carole – look, if you like this kind of thing, it's great. I think for her target audience this ad is great. Plus, she has the clearest “value proposition” of the five ads: “I'll stop those who hijack the funds we need”. Also the voice over asks for the vote, because why? She didn't want to ask herself? Seems uncharacteristically demure. Solid ad, though.

    2) Perla – actually I think this ad has the most well defined leadership messages, as follows:

    A) She identifies her audience (people left out of the new Austin). Phillip may not like it, but a lot of people feel that way.

    B) She draws a contrast between the issues of those left out (“the human side”) with the ongoing council obsession with central austin planning and transit, implying that she will champion other things (i.e. “people not buildings”)

    C) She asks for the viewer to do something. Unfortunately I think this is where the ad goes off track. She doesn't ask for the vote. She asks them to visit her website. She could have done both.

    1) Chris Riley – for all of his faults on camera, Chris Riley's ad sticks to basics. this is a very inside the box ad, and should remind political marketers that the reason the box exists is to hold things that work. So Chris sticks to the classic formula of who he is, what he wants, his qualifications, why it matters, what he'll do, and finally asks for your support. It's the inside belly play, but he'll get some yards out of it.

    • Good analysis
      I agree on Perla's ad. When I first saw the ad, I just thought, “name ID, name ID, name ID.” The “real Austin” thing is just a pet peeve of mine, but in a focus group that's the kind of thing you'd say…

    • AlexFerraro1 on

      Canvas is in these days
      I think the “blank canvas” element of Brewster's ad was actually a good idea–the technique worked really well for Obama. And I don't mean that as a dig on Obama, I think it's smart when you're trying to reach beyond your base.

  8. prematurely grey on

    the real question now: where/when are these ads running?
    Anybody seen them on their actual teevees? I know the BOR world sees everything on YouTube, but I have a hunch that there are still a few people in Austin who see political ads on TV.

    I think I saw a Brewster ad while fastforwarding through The Daily Show. But since the primary thing I watch before bed is House Environmental Reg on Real Player, don't know who's on what air.

    Thanks.  

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