The Downballot
The Downballot
May 11, 2023
Making ads people actually watch, with Mark Putnam
Play • 52 min

How do you make a campaign ad that voters actually want to watch? We're discussing that critical question on this week's episode of "The Downballot" with leading Democratic ad-maker Mark Putnam, who's been responsible for some of the most memorable spots in recent years. Putnam details his creative process, which always starts with spending time with candidates to truly learn their story—and scouting locations in-depth. He then walks us through the production of the famous Jason Kander-assembles-a-gun-blindfolded ad that went viral and explains why, believe it or not, you always want footnotes in your attack ads.

Co-hosts David Nir and David Beard also look ahead to next week's elections, headlined by the bitter GOP primary (is there any other kind?) in the Kentucky governor's race; the free-for-all Democratic primary to serve as Philadelphia's next mayor; and the special election in the Philly suburbs that could determine whether Democrats keep control of the state House. Plus: the ACLU's new effort to place an amendment on the ballot in Florida that would enshrine abortion rights into the state constitution.

Transcript can be found here.

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