Use humor to destroy your opponent
Re-districting reduced Montana’s two Congressional districts to one. Both incumbents battled it out to see who would survive – one a liberal Democrat, Pat Williams, the other a right-wing Republican, Ron Marlenee – one from the East and the other from the West – both well-funded – winner take all.
Montanans are plain-spoken and straight-forward when it comes to their values. To show that Ron Marlenee’s waste of taxpayer money was out of control – and to associate his franked mail messages with junk mail – not only made Montanans laugh, it allowed them to reach their own conclusion that Ron Marlenee’s self-portrayal as a warrior against taxes and spending was two-faced and hypocritical.
This spot struck at the heart of Marlenee’s campaign and everytime voters would receive a piece of mail – from his Congressional office or the campaign – they would immediately think of our ad.
It undermined Marlenee’s values strength, and turned it into a liability.
Pat Williams won decisively.