Politics

The quietly televised Conservative attack ads

A renewed campaign against Justin Trudeau

Earlier this week, the Conservative party began running a new series of ads about Justin Trudeau. There would seem to be three adverts: one that takes issue with his comments on balancing the budget (the ad takes the second half of the sentence noted here), one that notes his position on legalizing marijuana and one that references his comments on the Boston Marathon bombing to suggest he’s soft on terrorism.

Though Twitter reports would seem to suggest the ads are being aired far and wide—see here and here—you won’t find the ads online. At least not officially. They’ve not been added to the Conservative party’s YouTube account, nor the official justinoverhishead website, nor the justinoverhishead Facebook page.

The only Internet trace of the ads would seem to be this amateur tape of the marijuana-themed clip.

I’ve asked the party if there’s an explanation for the ads not being posted online and will post a response if I receive one.

Last April, a few days after the Conservatives launched their first series of ads about Mr. Trudeau, the party sent out a note to supporters.

On Monday, we launched three new ads informing Canadians that Justin Trudeau is in way over his head.

Unsurprisingly, some members of the media are criticizing our new TV ads. They are circling the wagons.

But here’s the truth — these ads have spread farther and faster than any ads we’ve ever done. We are communicating directly with Canadians rather than passing through the media’s “filter”.

In two days, our ads were viewed more than 270,000 times on YouTube — more views than we have ever received on any video before — including during an election cycle.

We received so much traffic to our website that it temporarily crashed — something that’s never happened before.

Despite what the media wants you to think, the response to our new ad campaign has been overwhelming.

We need to make sure every Canadian sees these ads and you can help by making a $25 donation today.

I’d like to thank you for helping make this happen, but our work is far from over

Please visit http://JustinOverHisHead.ca today and hit the share button on these ads and to help us keep the momentum going.

Thank you,

Jenni Byrne
National Campaign Manager, 2011

The party hasn’t yet sent out an email about its newest ads—the Liberals have though,  embedding a gif of one of the ads in the e-mail—but then it doesn’t have anything to point to and it doesn’t have anything to complain about this time. If a quick Google News search is accurate, it doesn’t seem that there has been any coverage of these ads so far. That might lend credence to this theory—note: theorizer is a Liberal—of why the ads haven’t been posted online. (Is it perhaps distressing that we don’t cover ad campaigns unless they’re gift-wrapped for us? Yes, possibly.)

A relatively quiet rollout here would also seem to match the rollout of radio ads last fall.

Looking for more?

Get the best of Maclean's sent straight to your inbox. Sign up for news, commentary and analysis.