Sen. Obama has put up advertising in every Super Tuesday state except Alaska and Idaho and Clinton is up in 16 of those states.
What the campaigns could learn from the Super Bowl ads?
The candidates have settled in on some signature styles for their political ads. Romney uses stars and stripes in 77 percent of his ads. Obama has high profile surrogates vouching for him in several commercials running across the country, including spots with Caroline Kennedy, Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano and Sen. Claire McCaskill. Sen. Clinton is trying to drive home her campaign themes like being a good steward of the economy and fighting for universal health care coverage. Sen. McCain uses many images of his time as a POW in Vietnam, playing to his national security credentials. But the ads, according to some media observers, just don't seem as fun as the
Barbara Lippert, a columnist for Adweek, thinks campaign ads have become incredibly boring. "It's a paint by numbers operation," she said. "It's the same formula they've been using for 30 years."
"News clips, a voiceover talking about quotes and the candidate addressing the audience. It's like 'put your candidate here,'" Lippert complains.
She suggests that Sen. Clinton use a more subtle approach. "Hillary Clinton is most effective when she's talking to the camera. If it was just her, framed with a beautiful light, and just a little bit of music, it would be better," said Lippert.
For Romney, she suggests a total overhaul. "He needs to let himself go grey," said Lippert. "His ads are very stiff like the candidate himself."
But would campaign ads be more effective if the candidates broke out of their safe and traditional zones and instead really took a page from Super Bowl ads?
Imagine how much buzz Senator Clinton could get among the coveted young voters who tilt toward Obama if she did produced an ad like Bud Light's "superior drinkability" campaign and instead went with "superior electabilty?"
Romney, trailing McCain in national polls, just needs to catch voters' attention in any way he can. In a less serious world, he might consider jumping up and down to Michael Jackson's Thriller like the lizards in the Life Water Super Bowl spot.
Making the ads memorable
Republican Mike Huckabee may be trailing in the polls but he has one of the most creative ads this cycle. His first campaign commercial starred his #1 celebrity supporter, martial arts expert and actor, and was labeled "Chuck Norris Approved".
"Chuck Norris doesn't endorse. He tells America how it's gonna be," says Huckabee, the former Governor of Arkansas, with a slight grin.
A memorable ad indeed. But so far during this campaign season, the political ads are not going down in the history books. According to Lippert, these ads pale in comparison to her all-time favorite political campaign ad, Ronald Reagan's "It's Morning Again in America". "It showed a beautiful scenes of people. It was very symbolic and beautifully done," said Lippert. It had, perhaps, the imagination of a great Super Bowl spot.