In an effort to elevate the political debate and get elected at the same time, a Democrat running for lieutenant governor in Massachusetts has decided to shift his entire budget for television advertising to a seven-minute video for distribution directly to voters.
State Rep. Nicholas Paleologos, trailing state Rep. Marjorie Clapprood and state Sen. William Golden in recent polls for the Sept. 18 Democratic primary, said he believes the 30-second television spot is outmoded and ineffective.
"I would argue that it is impossible to say anything meaningful in 30 seconds on television," Paleologos said, adding that voters find the cascade of political ads in the late stages of a campaign "confusing and annoying."
Paleologos said he decided in February to wager up to $200,000 on the video gamble. The money paid for producing the tape and mailing it to more than 50,000 targeted households.
Although other candidates have used videotapes to supplement their "paid media" strategy, Paleologos thinks he is the first major party candidate in a statewide campaign to stake his advertising budget on videos. The tape, however, breaks no new ground.
It is an upbeat mixture of biography and endorsements that makes no mention of his rivals.
The seven-term legislator is no stranger to theatrical productions.
As a vice president of Zollo Productions Inc., Paleologos has helped produce Broadway plays, including the Pulitzer Prize-winning " 'Night, Mother," and two feature films, "Miles From Home" and "Mississippi Burning."