We've already had campaign TV ads by Gov. Norm Bangerter, and now Democrat Ted Wilson is on the air.
Wilson is running two 30-second ads and a minute ad beginning Monday. The ads will run for three weeks, up to the State Democratic Convention, at a cost of $155,000, said Kathy Loveless, his campaign press secretary.The ads have two goals: "We want to solidify Ted's lead, and we want to refresh people's memory of his leadership and accomplishments as mayor," she said. Wilson was Salt Lake mayor from 1976 to 1985. Polls show Wilson leads Bangerter by more than 20 points.
Wilson said his campaign held focus groups made up of "weak Wilson supporters." "They like the spots, believe they are effective and we're going with them," the candidate said.
Bangerter spent about $90,000 on TV in March and April. His ads centered on how he personally makes decisions as governor and his dreams for the state.
"We're not planning any more TV advertisements for several weeks at least," said Dave Buhler, Bangerter's campaign manager. "I'm not surprised that Wilson is running TV. He said before he wouldn't do it until later in the summer, but I think he knows he's slipping in the polls."
Loveless denies that Wilson's advertising campaign is for that reason.
"We're trying to solidify support," said Wilson. "We don't expect to climb in the polls at all through these spots; just firm up what we have."
However, Loveless said that campaign polling does show some interesting trends.
"Those who are voting for Ted like him, but they aren't exactly certain what they like about him. We want to refresh their memories," she said.
"I know their support is soft," counted Buhler. "Our polls show that and he's worrying about it."
The two 30-second ads have the economic-recovery theme, "We did it before, we'll do it again," as Wilson says in the spots.
One ad shows Wilson standing on the steps of a SkyWest airliner, talking about creating jobs in Utah. It says that Wilson created 40,000 in Salt Lake City as mayor and he can do the same thing as governor.
"We need to bring opportunity back to Utah. We need to bring good jobs back to Utah," Wilson says.
The second 30-second ad talks about Salt Lake City's world-class airport. Wilson says he didn't help create that airport so that Utah's children could use it to leave the state looking for jobs. A young man says he will have to leave if the job market doesn't improve. Wilson is then touted as a leader who can bring a change to Utah.
The minute spot is on the floods of 1983. It says Wilson, as mayor, organized and brought people together, along with the spirit of the community.
The ads were produced by the Sawyer/
Miller Group, a New York campaign advertising firm. "They worked with Ted on some of his previous races," said Loveless. "While they are from New York, we used all local people in the production of the ads," she said.