Anybody who's been raised since the advent of television (which is everybody now alive) knows the importance of TV ads in political races. The advertising phase of several campaigns is just now coming into prominence. In the case of Shelby County political races, there are but two months to go before the May 1st election day in the Republican and Democratic primaries. Statewide races, which culminate in August, have a bit more lead time.
Two new ads that are just now getting to be seen by the public indicate wholly different strategies. One is on behalf of Shelby County Trustee and GOP county mayor candidate David Lenoir. The other is for gubernatorial candidate Randy Boyd of Knoxville, the former state Commissioner of Economic Development.
Though Lenoir is well known in local government circles, he is not exactly a household name. Accordingly, his new 30-second TV spot attempts to fill a name-ID gap between himself and primary opponent Shelby County Commissioner Terry Roland, a firebrand who is adept at gathering free media coverage for himself.
Lenoir's spot begins with an image of a football helmet, which fades into a shot of the candidate as a young man, wearing the crimson uniform of the University of Alabama, and clearly game-ready. A voice-over then explains, "When an injury ended his dreams to play in the NFL, David Lenoir refused to stand on the sidelines."
In fact, Lenoir, whose athletic career ended prematurely due to injury, was once a highly touted defensive end for the fearsome Crimson Tide. The duration of the ad shows images of Lenoir at work and on the campaign stump, looking both accessible and able, while the voice-over speaks of his "reduc[ing] county debt and saving taxpayers millions." The ad promises that Lanier will "fight to protect our neighborhoods and strengthen our schools" and contends that Shelby Countians "need a mayor with drive and determination."