October 30th, 2008
08:43 AM ET
14 years ago

30-minute Obama ad shows campaign muscle

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/POLITICS/10/29/campaign.muscle/art.obamatrail.gi.jpg caption=" Sen. Barack Obama aired a 30-minute campaign ad Wednesday night."]
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Sen. Barack Obama's 30-minute TV ad, which ran simultaneously on broadcast and cable networks at 8 p.m. ET Wednesday, is muscle-flexing that has little precedent, a campaign advertising expert said.

"It's evidence, if you needed any, that the Obama campaign has more money than there is ad time left to buy," said Evan Tracey, director of the Campaign Media Analysis Group. "This is flexing the muscles."

Tracey estimates that it will cost the campaign "in the $4 to 5 million range - at a minimum, $3.5 million."

But, he said, spending the money is a "no-brainer" for the Democratic presidential hopeful.

"The strategic brilliance of this for Obama is that he is going to consume about 24 hours of the news cycle," Tracey said. "It boxes [John] McCain in, takes the oxygen out of the room."

In the carefully produced infomercial, Obama laid out his plans for the economy and for bringing an end to the war in Iraq.

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Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama
soundoff (272 Responses)
  1. Redneck Racist in Pittsburgh

    All that has been shown to me is that Obama is trying very hard to buy the presidency and he can read a script. As far as believing anything he said last night...

    The man is a compulsive liar, hiding from his background and true intentions as best he can.

    October 30, 2008 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  2. Karon

    I thought the 30 minutes was done very well. He laid out his policies but they werent' overwhelming. Instead he turned to real people in America to show their hardships and how he could help!

    Very well done!

    October 30, 2008 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  3. J P from MD

    Obama took the stage.

    Meanwhile, The McCain vs. Palin fight continues behind the scene. Folks, it is getting dirty.

    October 30, 2008 10:09 am at 10:09 am |

    We watched this last night, and also watched the rally in Florida with Obama and Clinton..I was moved deeply by Obamas ad, and if we had any doubts left, after watching both these, we have none..We feel we made "right" choice in already voting for Obama..Such a concerned person, who truly cares about people...He will make a great president


    October 30, 2008 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  5. Republican Supporters in the Dark

    Very good infomercial. I hope and pray that the American people will do the right thing and vote Republicans out of office so that we can begin the long road to recovery. It wont be easy, but this is America, the land of possibilities. May God bless this nation so that we rise from the ashes and ruins of the Republican regime.

    October 30, 2008 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  6. PT

    I think it would do the United States good to realize that Barack Obama is not buying the Presidency of the United States. And for the first time EVER the citizens of the United States are buying the President we want with our own money in contributions to Obama. McCain cannot understand this and thinks something is underhanded with all the money Barack is being given by us. Nothing is up, this is how we feel. We want Barack Obama not McCain.
    This time we are not allowing soft money and lobbyist to decide who runs our country anymore. This is it, and we have also had enough of the Good ol Boys and they are OUT!

    October 30, 2008 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  7. witch

    I loved the ad. I saw myself in those other people. I want to be a united country not divided like McCain and Palin are saying. I have no fear with Obama but I sure do with McCain and Palin. The hair on the back of my neck stands on end when I hear her speak.

    October 30, 2008 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  8. bj

    This is the guy who says he is going to be fiscally responsible?
    He pisses away $4 Million of other peoples money in half an hour to act like he's already president. My vote already went for McCain and I'm proud of it.

    October 30, 2008 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  9. AL

    It was very good and well done and I enjoyed it.

    My only thought after was "I bet John McCain is wishing he was doing the finale at 8:30 pm staring John McCain as John MCSHAME, Sarah Palin as the presidential hopeful for 2012 and Joe the Plumber as a real plumber.

    October 30, 2008 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  10. ok

    Brilliant. That is why Obama is the best candidate right now to be the commander-in-chief. He makes good judgment, surrounds himself with intelligent people, and runs a clean and successful campaign. McCain, Palin and Republicans were asking, "Who is Barrack Obama?" I guess he answered clearly who he is in the Informercial. He tells the nation about his root, family, his economic plans and how he will govern this country. Americans connect with the story. The Informercial is well documented. You cannot beat that. If you have not made up your mind (undecided) by now, you probably do not have a any valid reason anymore. If you want to see the country in the right direction – economy, policies, please make a decision, "Go And Vote For Senator Obama."

    October 30, 2008 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  11. james in s.c.

    i thought that 30 min. ad was good! most of the ad was not about him (obama) but of the regular american people going thru struggles have no jobs, no heath care, and education. obama was right on every subjects thats whats really going on thru out this great land of ours!!

    peace and go OBAMA-BIDEN 08 & 12

    October 30, 2008 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  12. James from Kansas City

    And it shows the most important muscle–heart!

    October 30, 2008 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  13. Fred

    I think it was a good use of my donation money and I am so happy with the results and a completely clean ad that I will donate more. He did not mention a single time McCain name and this is a decent campaign that I am happy to see. I am dropping another $100 for him today.

    October 30, 2008 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  14. katiec

    Barack Obama's campaign has been professionaly run from day one.
    Mccain has floundered, jumped from one dirty strategy to
    another, running a campaign on lies, hate, fear and trying to
    divide our great country,
    Barack Obama's presentation was about the American people
    and how he plans to try and resolve all the crisises the
    republicans have created.
    It is a no brainer as to who is best equipped to lead our

    October 30, 2008 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  15. For Obama

    When it was time for change and better future for America the Democratic Party put aside its differences and united under the leadership of Obama.

    The Republican Party had short goals and due to their greed has falled apart. And McCain has shown that he is no leader as he cant even unite his own party.

    In this one election there is no race, party or gender… it is all in the best interest of America, the best interest of each and every one of us.

    Vote for Obama!

    October 30, 2008 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  16. Glenn Doty, Columbia, SC

    Is there any information yet about how many people tuned in to watch the infomercial?

    If everyone that was watching last week watched the same channels this week during their respective time slots... then there would be more than 40 million households tuned in...

    Due to the unusual nature of the event, plus the fact that FOX was delaying the fifth game of the World series, that number could have been considerably higher...

    Of course, some people who are strongly decided and some who are anti-political may have changed the channel or muted the event.

    I'm guessing ~50 million households saw it, with ~5 million of those households containing at least one undecided voter who watched it.

    I'd LOVE real numbers. The production was excellent, and would have had a strong positive impact on an undecided voter that saw it.

    October 30, 2008 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  17. Off the fence

    He just sealed the deal for me.Obama all the way.

    October 30, 2008 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  18. boredintheboondocks

    Finally, a candidate who let's us know some plans he has! Stop the drama, vote Obama!

    October 30, 2008 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  19. JA

    This infomercial was also on the SPANISH TV stations which shows that Obama totally believes in the importance of not only the Hispanic vote, but the need to educate the public about his policies. The informercial was in English but had Spanish sub-titles. I enjoyed it.

    October 30, 2008 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  20. Joey

    a 30 min ad was WORTHLESS. It made me not want to vote for him anymore now im voteing for John McCain

    October 30, 2008 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  21. Brenda in Evansville, Indiana

    If I'm typing a comment on CNN.com then I'm a bit of news/political junkie and been following both campaigns. So I'm biased from this Obamerial but it would be interesting to see how folks not that into politics and campaigning felt about it.

    October 30, 2008 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  22. wonderwoman

    Despite what McCain and others say and despite how they want so desperately to spin this-Obama had money to do this because people voted with their wallets. I am so glad my money went to something like this instead of going to Neiman Marcus.

    October 30, 2008 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  23. CM in AR

    It was awesome!!! Get out and vote for THAT ONE~!

    October 30, 2008 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  24. Joe The "WHO?"


    Two Words: five days
    (Our national nightmare for the last 8 years is almost over)


    October 30, 2008 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  25. paula

    I felt more patriotic watching Obama's ad than I have ever felt in my lifetime. It's all about hope and potential, not divisivness and smearing. Obama is what this counrty NEEDS.

    October 30, 2008 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
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