The 'Amateurish' Ads for Rep. Howard Berman
Rep. Howard Berman has the backing of some of the biggest names in Hollywood. So why has a super PAC supporting his candidacy aired some of the lowest production-value political ads of the year?
One ad features a "worker" in a hard hat, but includes five seconds of dead time on screen with the worker only blinking. Another is a text-heavy spot in which almost every word narrated also appears on the screen.
The ads were paid for and produced by a super PAC that is boosting Berman in his marquee congressional match against fellow Democratic Rep. Brad Sherman after the two veteran Democrats were drawn into the same Los Angeles-area district last year.
The super PAC is not a low budget affair, having booked more than $175,000 in media buys in recent weeks.
And yet each of the ads "looks like it was done with somebody's home video camera," said Steve Maviglio, a California-based Democratic political strategist. "If it were sandwiched between an ad for a beauty parlor and a hamburger joint, it might not look so bad. But on the face of it the production is so amateurish."
Berman has plenty of Hollywood friends that could have lent a hand. Hollywood heavyweights Steven Spielberg, Jeffrey Katzenberg and David Geffen co-hosted a mega-fundraiser for him last fall. Just last week, Berman accompanied President Obama to a glitzy fundraiser at George Clooney's home.