The Fred Davis Effect

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McCain has a new ad up today that features a big bad building that casts a deep dark shadow over America. It is the U.S. Capitol Building, of course, and it represents Democratic big government regulations and taxes, which is ironic because McCain has spent much of this week competing with Obama in the who-can-call-for-more-regulations-to-prevent-another Wall-Street-crisis game. (Never mind that Obama plans to lower taxes for most Americans, not raise them.)

What is not so surprising is the metaphor at the heart of the ad. One of the new national consultant stars of this campaign cycle is Fred Davis, the blow-dried California adman who is responsible for much of the McCain’s media, including the “Celeb” ad that flashed Paris Hilton into the political ether. Mark McKinnon, a former McCain aide who worked for President Bush in 2004, calls Davis “the most creative person in the business — period.”

With this new ad, Davis appears to be returning to one of his old tricks–the aerial flyover. Back in 2002, Davis helped Sonny Perdue win the Georgia governorship in an upset partly credited to this ad, which cast Democratic Gov. Roy Barnes as a giant rat casting his shadow over the state. (To see the rat in motion, go about 1:30 into the ad.)