U.S. Senator Ron Johnson’s first reelection campaign ad has a familiar look – taking aim at the same career Washington politicians he ran against 6 years ago. The Republican U.S. Senator faces Democrat Russ Feingold, a rematch of the 2010 race in which the Oshkosh businessman defeated the three term Senate incumbent.
In an ad from that campaign, candidate Johnson walks through of his plastics plant in Oshkosh. “At our company, we don’t export jobs, we export plastic,” Johnson says in the 30 second spot. “We can bring America back, but first we have to boot professional politicians out of Washington.”
Six years later, now Senator Johnson walks through his plastics plant in Oshkosh. “Some companies export jobs, we export our products,” Johnson says. “Been doing it for decades, helping to create more Wisconsin jobs.” The new spot features a logo similar to that from the 2010 campaign – and does not identify Johnson as a U.S. Senator.
Asked about the similarities, Johnson campaign spokesman Brian Reisinger referred to the press release announcing the roll out of the commercial, which was produced at the PACUR plant in Oshkosh. That release notes that Johnson has a record of creating jobs at PACUR since the company’s founding in 1979, contrasted with Feingold’s time in Washington and ten years as a state legislator in Madison.
“Career politicians manufacture hogwash,” Johnson says in the new ad. “I manufacture plastic, and I respect you enough to tell you the truth.”
“It’s interesting. Six years ago he was not a career politician, but now he is,” notes Madison College marketing professor Steve Noll. “So where the hogwash?”
After viewing both spots, Noll said he had to check the dates on each one “I couldn’t tell which one was the older commercial and which one was the newer commercial,” he said. “In marketing, you want consistency in your brand. Obviously he ran a very successful campaign 6 years ago. I think he’s looking to what worked before, and continuing with a similar message.”