GOP ad hits and misses

Campaign ads have been playing a role in American politics for more than two centuries now. And these days, they have a special kind of power.

But what type of ads have been working in the presidential campaigning so far -- and which ones haven't?

GOP pollster Frank Luntz, president and chief executive officer of Luntz Global, LLC, shared his analysis on "The Early Show." Check out his thoughts on several of the campaign ads below.


"Serial Hypocrisy" by Ron Paul: This ad attacks Newt Gingrich by using press clips that make him appear hypocritical on key conservative issues. It tested well among both Republicans and Democrats.

Luntz said on "The Early Show," "That is one of the most powerful, because it shows Gingrich at his worst. Makes him a Washington insider, which is exactly what Republicans don't want. ... What these voters are looking for is consistency and predictability, which is why Gingrich got hurt in the ad and Mitt Romney was attacked by the Obama campaign and he got hurt (by portrayals of a lack of) consistency."

"Mitt vs Mitt" by the Democratic National Convention: This ad uses sound bites of Romney appearing to argue on both sides of several issues. It ends with a clip of Ronald Reagan laughing, saying ,"Here we go again!" This ad tested well among both voters from parties.

"It made people laugh, which is a key to negative advertising," Luntz said. "It can't make you angry at the people who ran it. You want to make it angry at the candidate. Romney has also been attacking Barack Obama, and that is one of the reasons he has actually done so well nationwide. He has gone ahead of Gingrich in most surveys because he is trying to bring the campaign to the Democrats, which is the second thing that caucus voters want, someone who can beat Barack Obama."

"Bumps In The Road" by Mitt Romney: This early ad uses the image of Americans lying in a road as Obama's quoted "bumps in road" to a better economy to show how out of touch the White House is. This tested well among both parties.

On "The Early Show" Luntz said of this ad, "It's trying to use the voices of people, and one of the hardest things in the campaign right now is credibility. Nobody trusts anything from anyone. And so you've got to use real people, real voices, real opinions. The language of some of the ads has not worked because it's come across as manufactured. If you feel like you came in a television studio, if someone put it together just slapped it together, it's not going to be effective. You got to have an authentic, genuine message."

"Time to Get America Working Again" by Rick Perry: This was the first ad of hiss campaign, and it resonated strongly with voters in our focus group. This ad is two minutes long, split into two one-minute parts. Part one talks about what is going wrong in America, and part two talks about Rick Perry and why he is the man to fix it.


"Two Different Plans" by Rick Perry: This ad attacks Romney's Social Security plan and contrasts it with his own, using Florida as an example. This dialed poorly among our group.

"Now Is The Time For Action" by Herman Cain: This ad features Cain's chief of staff talking directly to camera about Cain, and then taking a long drag from a cigarette. This is among the worst dialed ads of the primary race thus far.

When asked who is going to win in this caucus, Luntz said, "I'm not afraid to make predictions. This time, no way. Could be any one of three candidates. And we don't know who is coming in fourth and fifth. I don't remember any time like this. Mike Huckabee had a three-point lead, but clearly, he was surging. Rick Santorum is still back, and back in 2008, Barack Obama also was leading in the last poll. No one is leading this time."