Jeff Greene's ad campaign launched today, and despite his billionaire status, Pixar animations were left on the cutting room floor. Also absent from the two spots: Greene's "I took on Wall Street and won" slogan. With the campaign heating up, it looks like our badboy is reforming.
"He's starting with a complete blank slate," says Dr. Daniel Smith, director of the Political Campaigning Program at the University of Florida. "He's projecting success in the business world, and taking on Congress and career politicians seems to be more believable than taking on Wall Street."
"He's got the money," Smith says, "to define himself before [rival Kendrick] Meek does."
The first video, above, invites you to see the softer side of Greene, who would have you forget that he made his fortune betting against the housing market and allegedly defrauded senior citizens. No, this Greene wants to invest in green technology. It's not that he hates "career politicians"--he's just tired of them. Aren't you? He's done with foreign oil. He plays with a baby.
"It's very effective in terms of being not too flashy," Smith says.
But don't worry about Greene losing his edge:
Babies? Forget babies! Greene does proactive, manly-man things, like pick up the phone, lead a board meeting, and point upward at a construction site. "The career politicians have had their chance," he proclaims. "I have a real plan," and that's to "jumpstart the housing market and revitalize the economy."
"You've got to think of his audience," Smith says. "Democrats are angry at Washington, and he's tapping into the anticumbent, anti-insider sentiment that we're hearing across the country."
There you have it: Greene's ad campaign doesn't actually suck. No word yet on the ad buy rate, but we'll keep you posted.