Same actor, different campaign: Liberal ad under scrutiny
Paul Bliss, CTV News Toronto
Published Thursday, October 19, 2017 6:42PM EDT
Last Updated Thursday, October 19, 2017 7:54PM EDT
It appears the same actor has appeared in two pro-Liberal ads, prompting one marketing expert to question the party’s campaign tactics.
In the most recent ad by the Ontario Liberal Party highlighting the different “voices” in our province, the actor plays a laid off worker, now struggling to make ends meet with part-time hours.
The same man was in a commercial three years ago, put on by the Working Families Coalition, a group of unions that teamed up to support the Ontario Liberals that union spent millions on the anti-Tim Hudak ads.
In the hard-hitting attack ad against the Progressive Conservatives, the actor played a tough, Bay Street businessman in a suit, issuing marching orders to then PC leader Tim Hudak.
Marketing and communications expert Tony Chapman told CTV News Toronto the actor is versatile, that’s why he’s used.
“What’s ironic here is the different roles he plays. In the first one, this is the kind of J.K. Simmons from “OZ” you know the bald guy staring you down in the boardroom,” said Chapman.
“Fast forward four years later and all of a sudden he’s Kevin Spacey, the out of work boomer from American Beauty.”
Chapman added, however, that is doesn’t look good on the Liberals to recycle the same face.
“Sure it takes away credibility from the ad, because the general public now knows he isn’t Joe Public,” he said.
Chapman recommends the Liberals get a fresh face and a fresh start.
But, the Liberals point out, actors are protected by their union with rules stipulating they don’t have to disclose roles they’ve played more than nine months in the past. But the conservatives wonder, why use actors?
“It’s deceitful. I mean, does Kathleen Wynne seriously have to resort to hiring actors for all of her ads to suggest that there are laid-off workers?” said MPP Lisa MacLeod.
Deputy Premier and Liberal campaign co-chair Deb Matthews said the issue is raising minimum wage, not recurring actor roles.
‘I’m glad to see the PC Party is watching our ad. I wish they actually would pay as much attention to the content of the ad and the stories those people are telling as they do to what actors are playing what role,” said Matthews.
The Deputy Premier also said the party will not be changing or pulling the ads. In fact, she said she hopes this story urges more people to tune in.