The candidate: U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah, Democrat.
The ad: "Transform," a 30-second spot airing on Philadelphia broadcast and cable channels.
Producer: AKP&D Message & Media, Chicago and New York.
Script and images: Spot opens with gritty black-and-white film of boarded-up storefronts and a police cruiser, captioned "West Philadelphia, 1969." A driving R&B beat runs through the entire ad. Narrator: "When gang violence gripped our streets, Chaka Fattah's family opened their home, transforming young lives. For 25 years, a champion for opportunity, replacing crime-ridden projects with new homes, creating programs to keep our kids in school and help pay for college. Now Fattah has the boldest plan to lift our communities, targeting illegal guns, improving early-childhood education, adding after-school programs to give our kids a safe place to go. Chaka Fattah: a lifetime fighting for all of us." Scenes flash by in rapid succession - young men in the House of Umoja, a refuge for youth founded by Fattah's mother; a high-rise project imploding; new Housing Authority rowhouses; Fattah making speeches and shaking hands with Bill Clinton; children in school.
Analysis: Most politicians would use generic music from studio stock rather than take a risk with the urban sound Fattah's campaign calls "neo-soul." (It was written for the campaign by Flemuel Brown 3d of West Philadelphia.) The factual claims are true, though some criticize Fattah's "opportunity" agenda, based on leasing the airport to private firms, as unrealistic. The real message: Fattah believes victory lies in appeals to his base of working-class African Americans. - Thomas Fitzgerald