The Last Of The Mayoral-Ad Premieres: A Review


Finally, Gene Locke has got a TV ad. The last of the three major candidates to hit the air in these tough-to-raise-cash times, he will be up soon with this 30-second piece of art. (Although, as with the other candidates, there's no telling just how often he'll buy time to run it.)

As we have done with the initial ads of Peter Brown and Annise Parker, let's make five points about this effort.

1. Locke wins the music race. The other two chose boring strings-laden faux-insprirational stuff; Locke goes for more of a very mellow indie-rock thing, with actual drums. He gets points just for skipping the strings.

2. Locke proves he can walk faster than Brown. Brown stunned the Houston political world with an ad that featured the most high-energy choreography this year outside of Glee -- the oldest of the candidates was vigorously pointing, walking, going  down stairs with all the energy of a man three-quarters or seven-eighths his age. Locke is not to be outdone; he walks here chatting with a constituent, but he's moving like he should be listening to an iPod and swinging wrist weights.

3. Locke has a better costume budget than Parker. Houston cops can't show up in political ads, so candidates have to appear with actors trying to look like Houston cops. Parker's ad featured uniforms from what looked to be a low-rent mall-security firm; Locke's are as close as you can get to that HPD shoulder badge without crossing the line.

4. Locke isn't sure where Downtown Houston is. The ad tells us "Gene Locke revitalized downtown"; as those words are on the screen, the visual is of a light-rail train passing the UT Health Science Center in the Medical Center.

5. Who he looks like in the ad. There's a brief glimpse of the activist-era Locke; you'd be excused if you caught yourself thinking you were looking at Scottie Pippen. We hope this doesn't mean Locke will selfishly pout on the bench in the last seconds of an important event because he doesn't think he's getting enough of the spotlight.

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