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Adwatch: New PAC-funded commercial for Williams touts his 'action'

Type of Ad:  Positive

Candidate: Anthony Hardy Williams

By: American Cities (Super PAC)

Title: "Action"

The Basics: If you have a lot of money, you have a lot of tools you can use to spread the good word about a candidate. American Cities, the SuperPAC financed by wealthy partners at the Susquehanna Group, have said they plan to spend $1 million or more with ads support Democratic candidate Anthony Hardy Williams. The can afford to have a lot of arrows in their quiver. The first commercial, which aired last week, was a sepia-tinted, tug-on-the-heartstrings biog ad about the candidate.  This week, they are going up with an ad called "Action" that continues the sell. It was produced by RSH Media, the Washington, D.C.-based firm with extensive experience in political media. You can see a 3-minute demo sample of their work here.

Crit: The goal of this ad is more prosaic than the first.  It's designed to tell us that Williams is an effective leader who has delivered the goods in the state Senate, on issues such as gun violence.  Williams, the woman announcer says, "knows that in this town talk is cheap.  It's action that gets things done."  It features a lot of headshots of the candidate, superimposed over promises: Pre-K for everyone and expand access to college for working-class kids. It hits on the two issues the voters tell pollsters they care most about: education and crime. It gets the candidate's face before the voters in a favorable way as, if you'll excuse the expression, an action figure.

The Unspoken Goal: For a politician who's been in public office for 25 years, Williams is not that well known. Despite the millions in TV money spent during his 2010 campaign for governor, his image doesn't seem to have stuck with voters. He has to boost his name ID and his favorables among Democratic voters. Both these flights of ads from this SuperPAC are designed to do just that.

Is the ad factual:  Yes.

Overall Grade: A-.