Editor’s Note: It’s an election year and that means lots of political commercials. Ad Watch is an occasional Civil Beat series in which we help you understand what you’re seeing and hearing when it comes to campaign messages from Hawaii candidates.
You might need your reading glasses — and a DVR — for U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa’s latest TV spot in her race against Sen. Brian Schatz.
The 30-second ad, called “Real Issues,” attempts to highlight some of Hanabusa’s priorities as a lawmaker in addition to some tangible achievements.
But the way the information is conveyed — with hundreds of words fading in and out on the screen — could be too much for voters to take in all at once.
Watch the ad for yourself here:
Hanabusa pumps a lot of information into 30 seconds. The voice-over alone points out that she supports seniors, veterans, jobs, Native Hawaiians, health care, education and funding for roads and buses.
If that weren’t enough, the screen is covered in quotes and phrases, some of which are clipped from old news articles, editorials and press releases.
Problem is you practically need to be a speed reader — or a highly caffeinated college student — just to keep up.
At least 225 words appear on screen in the 30-second spot, with some highlighted more than others.
As the ad says: “She is more interested in the complex business of legislating than playing the role of sound bite-spouting politician.”
But, as with any movie preview that pulls quotes from critics, it’s not the whole story.
Here’s the rest of what reporter Chad Blair had to say about Hanabusa in that Civil Beat article:
“While she can reference the minutiae of bills and the history of nations, demonstrating a mastery of names, dates and acronyms, it can come off as wonky and difficult for the average voter to relate to,” Blair wrote.
“Do voters want the smartest person in the room, or the one that makes them feel good about giving them their vote?”
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