Two days ago, the Liberal party released two new anti-Harper advertisements.
Both ads seek to counter-brand Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper as bad for the economy, accusing Harper of misleading Canadians while cutting economic development programs.
Both spots are short -- 15 seconds apiece -- dark, and clearly intending to invoke fear of a continuing Harper government.
The first ad, "Harpernomics and You" outlines what the Liberal party wants Canadians to believe the impact of Harper's economic policy has been.
They claim that Stephen Harper cut economic development programs -- yet the news story they cite doesn't turn up on a Google search.
The second ad, "This is Harpernomics" accuses the Conservatives of "giving big polluters a blank cheque while they make record profits", cutting "economic development programs" (most of the cuts were actually either funds previously budgeted but not used or "efficiencies"), and attacking Ontario by criticizing their tax policies.
The ads are short, cast mostly in dark colours and black-and-white images.
Most important, however, is their brevity. At 15 seconds apiece, these ads make their point quickly -- if incompletely.
They also play to the weakness of the Liberal fundraising machine. It's unlikely that the Liberals could compete with the Conservatives and their campaign treasury by running 30 second ads. At 15 seconds, however, they stand a chance, at least in terms of bulk advertising.
And by presenting only the raw figures, devoid of any of the broader details -- such as the fact that most of the 55,000 jobs lost in July were actually part-time manufacturing jobs -- the Liberals may benefit by turning the Conservatives focus on the economy against them.