Those presidental ads:
Most recently, there has been a consistent pattern for each of the campaigns:
- Obama ads begin with "I'm Barack Obama, and I approve this message".
- McCain ads ends with "I'm John McCain and I approve this message".
If menory serves, in the past (e.g. 2004) ads usually ended with that line. Is there an advantage to putting it at the beginning? Putting it at the beginning does two things:
Gets some people to "sit up and take notice", as it signals a political ad is next.
Allows the ad to unfold and make its case, the with last "punchline" lingering in the mind.
I suppose that there could be a further refinement on this. End
a positive ad with "I'm candidate X, and I approve this message" but begin
a negative ad with that line.
There has got to be a preferred positioning of the candidate "approve" statement. But what is it?
There was a story a few years ago about how negative ads tended to put the "I approve this message" at the beginning, so the last impression is of the attack and not the attacker, while positive ads typically put the "I approve..." at the end, so the last image is of the candidate who made you feel good.
My impression is that Obama's used both methods and when you see the "I approve" at the beginning, you know it'll be a tough one.
Maybe this is one of the changes he'll bring to the political process?
(Well, if you ever have to pad a list a little, it's never a bad idea to have some quick items to serve as placeholders, at least.)