The candidate: Former City Councilman Michael A. Nutter, Democrat.
The ad: "Numbers," a 30-second spot on Philadelphia broadcast and cable channels.
Producer: The Campaign Group, Philadelphia.
Script and images: "As mayor, this is what Michael Nutter will do." (Video of Nutter shaking hands.) "One: hire a new police commissioner. Two: a national search for a new school superintendent. Three: give the Inspector General more authority to go after waste. Four: a no-tolerance policy for political corruption." (A door shuts on clamoring lobbyists. A jailhouse door closes. "Zero Tolerance.") "Five: declare a crime emergency to clean up dangerous neighborhoods." (A man walks on a blighted street.) "Six: reform the zoning board." (Nutter at desk.) "And seven: throw out the bums in City Hall who have been ripping us off for years." A cartoon appears of a hand breaking off the City Hall tower and shaking it, spilling figures onto the ground. Screams are heard, and a desk hits the street with a crash.
Analysis: Using a list conveys decisiveness. Everything about the spot screams "change, change, change" - which, polls say, most voters want. Surveys also find Nutter fighting with businessman Tom Knox, who portrays himself as an outsider, for the lead. This ad stakes Nutter's claim. One quibble: Nutter may wish for a national search for a schools chief, and he will be able to express that, but the School Reform Commission will hire the next superintendent. And it's controlled by the state: Three members are appointed by Harrisburg, two by the mayor. - Thomas Fitzgerald