Saturday, March 29, 2014

Hog castration catches rural voters' attention

NPR reports today on an ad run by Joni Ernest--"Conservative Joni Ernst," that is--a candidate for the Republication nomination for the U.S. Senate seat from Iowa.  In he ad, Ernst discusses her past work in hog castration and suggests that this experience could be relevant if Iowa sends to her to Washington.  Needless to say, the ad is attention getting, and Brian Donahue, a strategist with Craft Media, explains that the "emotional reverberation" is what sends such ads viral:  
That causes what we call 'the Buzzfeed effect,' … It compels you to do more than just shape an opinion. It compels you to share it too. Which is why so many people are seeing an ad like this. 
It did something different and it was so unpredictable.  … We had a female candidate running for office and she's talking about castration and relates it to members of Congress, which is pretty unbelievable stuff. But beyond the race she's running, people are sharing it online and that's the effect you want to create. And that's what emotionally, cutting-edge media does. It takes on its own life.
Lori Raad of Something Else Strategies is the consultant behind the ad.  Raad says she knew the c-word was "going to get noticed."
Of course, our goal was for people to watch long enough to learn about Joni Ernst.  I wouldn't have guessed that people would've linked to it to this extent, although you always hope. 
* * *
That word coming out of my mouth? I might have made a funny face when I said that word.  It was very natural for her. She grew up doing that. It was not a hard sell.
Frank James, reporting for NPR, explains:  
The Ernst ad works, especially in Iowa, because the state leads the nation in hog production. Also, hog neutering is an authentic part of her biography, reflected by how matter-of-factly she delivers the line. 

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