Bush Leads With ‘A Fresh Start’

Ad Campaign, Launching in Iowa, N.H., Also Targets Hispanics
DALLAS–Texas Gov. George W. Bush goes on the air this week, with the first presidential television spots relaying his “compassionate conservative” message.
Maverick Media in Austin, Texas, created four TV spots to air Tuesday in Iowa and New Hampshire for Bush, whose $57 million war chest makes him the most well-funded candidate in U.S. history.
Bush’s media advisor, Maverick partner Mark McKinnon, did not reveal the campaign budget’s size.
“I can tell you that we will be advertising aggressively in the primary states across the board,” McKinnon said.
The theme, “A fresh start,” will transmit Bush’s “optimistic, hopeful message and will represent a fresh start from cynicism and the negative politics of the past,” McKinnon said.
Ads also target Hispanics. In Spanish-language radio segments, developed by GarciaLKS of San Antonio, Bush says, “Les habla George W. Bush. Es un nuevo dia.”
“We recognize there’s a limited Hispanic population in Iowa, but it’s important to send the message that Gov. Bush is committed to expanding the boundaries of the Republican Party and he will take no votes for granted,” said McKinnon.
The first TV ad cites Bush’s record on taxes, welfare, law enforcement and crime. Another relates Bush’s national goals, such as keeping Social Security. A third gives his educational views; the last, his “commitment to running a campaign that is . . . optimistic and positive,” said McKinnon.
Shooting took place over several months, using 8mm and 35mm film and videotape for a spliced-together, mini-documentary effect.
“It’s Bush, unfiltered,” said McKinnon. “He doesn’t need a lot of ribbons and bows.
“The first thing people think when they see a political ad is [that] someone is lying to them,” he added. “This is very direct [and] uncomplicated by advertising filters.”
Creators of the Bush advertising campaign include McKinnon, last at Sawyer-Miller Group in New York; Matthew Dowd; Stuart Stevens; and Russ Schrieffer. Stevens and Schrieffer previously operated an agency in Alexandria, Va., and served as media advisors for Bob Dole’s presidential bid.
Maverick Media was established to create advertising for Bush’s successful 1998 Texas gubernatorial re-election run.