AAPC: How did you go about creating the idea that you eventually submitted for the radio ad, “Impastato – Oh Danny Boy”? Did you have several ideas or did you settle on your final idea straight away?
Greg: I wish I could offer some enlightened strategy regarding how “Impastato’s Danny Boy” was conceived, but fact is, it just came to me while political daydreaming.
AAPC: Were there challenges along the way you had to overcome to get this ad completed?
Greg: The tune was originally played as “Londonderry Air”, but it became an Irish anthem that is universally known. Because most people are familiar with or can instantly identify “Oh Danny Boy”, it was important to closely mimic the song’s sound, production style and the meter of the lyrics. Writing to the melodic pacing of the original version of the song was a challenge but finding the perfect talent to sing and announce this commercial was the most difficult task. We had to find a tenor who was believable and authentic, yet, could improvise for comedic purposes. We had to find an announcer whose dialect was noticeably Irish, yet easily understandable. We selected an outstanding young tenor who was preparing for a Broadway debut, and a Scottish female announcer who offered the perfect dialect for the script. She was Scottish … close enough.
AAPC: Why do you think this ad was so successful compared to any other?
Greg: So many political ads today are over-the-top bitter. When an ad is so vitriolic many voters turn away. The campaign we were in between Impastato and a longtime incumbent State Senator was heated and the best way to turn down the volume was to add a little levity to the election. Oh Danny Boy helped achieve that goal.
AAPC: Can you give any advice for organizations just getting started?
Greg: Work hard, be aggressive, be smart, play fair, and be creative. If you are a political firm, set a strategy for your candidate, define tour target voter base, and create a compelling message. Political campaigns can be mundane, boring to a voter, so be clever, imaginative and most of all, factual.
AAPC: Can you tell us what it means to your firm to win a Best of the Best Award?
Greg: Of course, helping a candidate win election to office is the most important accolade we can earn. But having our colleagues present us with the distinction of being the Best of the Best is a tremendous honor that energizes our entire team. It was especially an honor to win the award for a local council campaign proving that every effort can be creative and effective. A firm doesn’t have to rely on the high-dollar campaigns for Governor, Congress or President to produce work that turns heads and wins over voters. It is a special honor to be recognized in the industry’s top association.
AAPC: Can you share a bit about what you are working on now?
Greg: This was supposed to be quiet year in Louisiana, but we are currently representing a candidate for Secretary of State, managing media for the re-election of a sitting State Supreme Court Justice, handling media for a candidate for State Representative, and helping the business community develop a campaign for a slate of school board candidates to ensure that the state’s largest parish school board is forward thinking and will support education reform measures.
FULL RADIO AD:
“Oh, Danny Boy, it’s time you pay the piper …
In Danny Martiny’s first term, he violated state ethics laws and voted six times raise his own pay by 34%.
“Oh Danny Boy, oh how much have you have taken
He made 2 million dollars from the Sheriff’s office … then voted to give the Sheriff a pay raise.
“Oh Danny Boy oh what were you thinking? Oh Danny Boy, oh why are you still here?
Because Danny Martiny lives off of his campaign account.
“Oh tell me more …”
Lobbyists and vendors pay for Danny’s football tickets, meals, swanky hotels, tuxedos, even his maid service. Had enough?
“Oh Danny Boy the time has come for you to go.