Why are the presidential candidates spending so much time raising so much money? To buy TV ads. Which ones succeed? Which fail? In Ad Watch, we review them as they come out. Today: Mitt Romney and Barack Obama battle for the hearts and minds of Latino voters after Obama's executive order stopping some deportations.
The Ad: Barack Obama, "Cristina Saralegui Supports President Obama"
The Issues: The Latino vote.
The Message: Cristina Saralegui—called "the Hispanic Oprah"—endorses Obama, saying she came to America when she was 12, and that the president wants everyone to have the same opportunities she did. Notably, she also urges viewers to make sure they're registered to vote. "Hispanics could very well decide the next election and I will do everything I can from now until November to ensure that President Obama is re-elected; there's simply too much at stake," the Telemundo host says. This is Saralegui's first presidential endorsement, and she gave it in two languages.
Who'll See It: The ad is Web-only. But Saralegui is popular, so maybe that will draw more than the usual nerds to the video. (The top story on her show's homepage is Google Translated as "Incest: Carnal love between brothers. Do you understand?")
Who It's For: Latinos, fans of Cristina. Obama and Romney are fighting over the Hispanic vote following Obama's executive order Friday to stop deportations of young illegal immigrants brought here as children.
What Everyone Else Thinks: Who is this?
The Effect: Saralegui's a pro at emoting to the camera. But it's a pretty standard endorsement video. B
The Ad: Mitt Romney, "¿Van Bien?"
The Issues: The economy and whether Obama's connected to it.
The Message: This is the Spanish-language version of the ad released last week mocking Obama's "the private sector is doing fine" comment. The idea is that Obama can't fix the economy if he doesn't know it's broken.
Who'll See It: Unclear. Perhaps North Carolina and Ohio.
Who It's For: Latinos, and Republicans nervous Romney isn't reaching out to Latinos.
What Everyone Else Thinks: The Spanish version is coming out several days after the English version -- making it not look like a top priority.
The Effect: The ad makes good use of a dumb comment. Like the Obama ad, its existence matters more than the presentation. B-