[Aditor’s note: As you might – or more likely might not – have noticed, Dr. Ads has been (in)conspicuous by his absence over the past several months. We’d rather not get into the details; let’s just say he’s been under the care of an actual doctor. Yo.]
Dear Dr. Ads,
There I was, just minding my own business and reading Politico Playbook, when I came across this:
VIDEO DU JOUR – “Tom Steyer’s ads test the boundaries of the ‘bizarre,’” by Darren Goode: “Steyer is trying to sway national climate policy and the midterm elections with an ad campaign that is raising eyebrows among independent fact-checkers, some television stations, his political opponents and even a few allies — using an approach that strikes observers as anywhere from groundbreaking to downright bizarre. … [Chris] Lehane, who wrote much of the ads’ scripts, said they are born from creative sessions after Steyer’s team has identified its target audience and message.”
Have you seen these ads, Doc? I mean, I’m all for combatting climate change, but Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, eh?
– Al G.
Dear Al G.,
Really? Is the average TV viewer gonna pay enough attention to that mishmash to get what it’s trying to say? We’re thinking not.
That ad is almost as strange as this spot NextGen ran last year attacking the Keystone XL Pipeline.
So how effective has Steyer’s climate police campaign been? The Wall Street Journal’s Kimberley Strassel answered this way in her column last week.
A Climate Crusader’s Comeuppance
Billionaire Tom Steyer’s vow to make politicians toe the green line isn’t working out so well.
As political comedowns go, there may be few to compare to the humbling of Tom Steyer. Six months after the climate activist roared on the national political scene vowing $100 million to impose his agenda on this fall’s midterms, it would appear that this billionaire don’t hunt.
Remember the liberal huzzahs that greeted the February pledge? The New York Times gave Mr. Steyer the front page, heralding a coming “hard-edge campaign of attack ads” that would pressure officials to “enact climate change measures” and persuade voters to back a climate agenda. Democrats hailed him as their new power broker, crowing about a war chest that could rival the Koch brothers and even up the midterm election odds. Environmentalists welcomed a white knight who would finally align the party and public behind their priorities.
Or not. Mr. Steyer at an Aspen conference this week revealed that little if any of this is happening. The left is as split over energy as it has ever been; the public isn’t buying the climate line; and the hedge-fund-manager-turned-activist looks to be regrouping.
Strassel adds this about the current NextGen ad:
NextGen, which bragged in May that it would make climate a “wedge” issue in “political races,” couldn’t even bring itself to mention the environment in its first ad of the political season, against Iowa Republican Senate candidate Joni Ernst. It instead hit her for supporting lower taxes.
Yeah, hit her like a Nerf ball. Our Rx for Tom Steyer: Find the NextGen of admakers.