« CA-24: Tenenbaum vs. Martinez | Main | CA-24: Gallegly Back In? »

Monday, March 13, 2006

Band of Brothers: Firing Back with Our Own Ad

Posted by DavidNYC

If you haven't heard of "Midwest Heroes" or seen their ads, prepare to get pretty steamed. Their "Remember" ad recycles two of the most insidious - and most widely discredited - right-wing talking points on the war in Iraq: First, that we're "making great progress" in Iraq and second, that we had to go to war with Saddam because he was backing Al Qaeda and, of course, was responsible for 9/11. Midwest Heroes tries to insulate itself from criticism by having veterans and the family members of dead soldiers speak, but it won't fly - not least because they've openly lied about who's in their ads.

Turns out one of the "mothers" extolling her "son's" sacrifice is actually the poor guy's step-mom. Warrant Officer Erik Kesterson's real mother is a Gold Star mom who is opposed to the war. In their ad, MH conviently leaves out this fact, but on their website, they actually refer to Erik's step-mom as his mom. They haven't even had the sense - or decency - to change it. You won't be surprised at all to learn that some of the people behind this new group hail from the original Swift Boat vets (including GOP Court Street lawyer Ben Ginsburg).

Recycled, discredited talking points. Phony testimonials. Hiding behind the uniform. Par for the course for the GOP - which is why we're firing back. Band of Brothers has put together its first ad, which you can view here. The online version is in long form - there's a shorter, made-for-TV version as well. It consists entirely of Fighting Dems explaining what they stand for and why they've joined this battle. Needless to say, there's no bullshit here - it's just veterans telling the truth.

We'd be grateful for your feedback (be honest!). If you want to help get this ad on the air, you can donate here.

(Thanks to Hesiod for his invaluable series of muck-raking diaries on Midwest Heroes.)

Posted at 05:50 PM in 2006 Elections - House, Band of Brothers | Technorati

Trackback Pings

TrackBack URL for this entry:


Whoa... Mike Weaver's remarks at the end were chilling.

I assume that you can't and won't be using C-Span clips in a televised ad, though, right?

Posted by: HellofaSandwich [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 13, 2006 06:57 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Comparing the two ads--BoB's and this slimeball right-wing "Midwest" group (ugh--these guys are probably from the coasts)--it's clear that theirs is slicker, glossier, and more expensive. Theirs is smoother, the voice-overs are less "tinny", the visuals are much more professional and fancy. The message is still good. If you were using it as an ad for Horne, it'd be great, I think. (But are there FEC laws that prevent candidate coordination with PACs on TV ads like this?)

Which raises a question--in which markets are you planning on airing this ad?

Posted by: HellofaSandwich [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 13, 2006 07:06 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

As to C-SPAN, I've been told that we have greater latitude with Internet ads, but that yes, for broadcast ads, we definitely can't use their material.

As such, I'd have to describe this ad as a work in progress. I agree - the message is there, but the execution needs refinement. (As to markets, I don't believe any decisions have yet been made.)

Posted by: DavidNYC [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 13, 2006 07:28 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

I was raised by an extinct species:

Republicans who were honest, decent, moderate people.

I don't know what they would do today....

Posted by: Ohanon [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 13, 2006 09:34 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Did the "Midwest Heroes" ad ever air outside of the Minnesota market? And is it still running there? I'm dreading seeing it when I go home for spring break later this week...

An ad like this in MN could go a long way toward framing the debate in the 6th CD around Iraq (and the Senate if Klobuchar ever puts out a clear message on the war).

Posted by: Max [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 14, 2006 12:44 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

I saw the ad on several occasions in the Southern Minnesota TV markets (Austin, Rochester, Mankato) where I recently lived. I can't imagine there are too many Minnesotans who bought into them aside from the true believer Kool-Aid swillers. Even if Klobuchar doesn't put out a truly clear message on the war, she could still exploit this ad in a debate, asking Mark Kennedy flat-out if he agrees with the inference of that ad and baiting him to look like a sellout to the far right or a shill to everyone else.

Posted by: Mark [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 14, 2006 12:54 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

I like the message conveyed in the ad,but i do have concerns about its viability in part to the use of C-Span material.....However, it is nice to see some resemblence of backbone returning to the democratic party.I just wish that the cohesiveness displayed in this ad of democratic hopefulls would show itself within the democrats currently in office.

Posted by: intellectionalist [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 15, 2006 09:01 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Near the beginning of the ad, it states that over 2300 "soldiers" were killed in Iraq.

First, you should also include the number who were wounded.

Secxond, you should change "soldiers" to "US military personnel," which includes Marines, airmen, AND soldiers.

The target audience for these ads: Veterans, active duty military, reservists and their families, will know the differenfce and that oversight will stick out like a sore thumb to them.

I can't understand why the Band of Brothers would make that mistake.

Posted by: Hesiod [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 15, 2006 09:20 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

I think the ad needs some Spielbergian flourish. Some real manipulative tug-at-your-heartstrings visuals and emotive music.

Posted by: HellofaSandwich [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 15, 2006 12:22 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Thank you for all the suggestions. Hesiod, I'm going to guess that that mistake was made by the production company - it of course will get fixed. This ad is still very much a work in progress - it hasn't gone up on TV yet (and can't in present form because of the C-SPAN footage). But it will be heavily refined by the time it does.

Posted by: DavidNYC [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 15, 2006 04:37 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Please keep us posted on the ad's development, David, and all Band of Brothers activities. I'm very interested in learning more on what you guys are up to this year.

Posted by: HellofaSandwich [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 15, 2006 05:35 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

I know it's almost three weeks late, but, what the heck...

As someone who has never had the honor to serve this country I must say that this is the most moving political spot I have ever seen. It's power for civilian folks like me must not be underestimated. I'm heartbroken to hear about the CSPAN footage. Forgive me for asking the obvious, but was there no one else shooting video at this event? I produce promos for a living and would be loathe to add much more production value to what is already there. The ad's simplicity is its greatest strength - with the veterans' sincerity speaking for itself. Compared to the over-produced slickness of the right-wing spot I'm much more moved by these honest men and woman standing together on a cold winter day speaking their un-spun truth.

Whatever your solution regarding the CSPAN footage - your ultimate broadcast spot should at least point people to the BoB web site where they can see this footage, too.

Bravo. And thanks for the inspiration.

Posted by: RJuna [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 4, 2006 09:31 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment