The Tsongas Ad Campaign

Michael Shea and Fred Woods, both based in Massachusetts, served as the campaign's media consultants.  Woods had done advertising for Tsongas from the earliest days of his political career.  Shea had assisted Dan Payne with Dukakis' 1988 primary spots and went on to set up his own firm in 1989.  Shea left the campaign in March because he was unhappy with the direction it was taking.  Scott Miller was brought on in the beginning of March.

In November Tsongas led off with the first ad of the campaign.  “Swim,” which showed Tsongas doing the butterfly stroke, effectively pre-empted concerns about his health.  It later won a second-place Pollie award. 

As Tsongas was not a very dynamic speaker, his media consultants did not use a lot of clips of him speaking.  In fact, while Tsongas is shown speaking or interacting with people, the viewer only hears him speaking in one spot ("Difference").  Compare with Harkin's ads, for example, where clips of Harkin speaking are frequent.

Spots by Shea and Woods:

"Swim"  (late Nov. 1991)  >
"Leadership"  (ea. Jan. 1992)
"Taking Control"  (Jan. 22, 1992)  >
"Change"  >
"Emergency"  > 
"Alone"  >
"Old Politics"
"Russ"  (SD)  >
"Difference"  >
"Won't Tell"
"Straight Answers"
"Say Anything"
"Foreign Aid"

Spot by Scott Miller and John Larkin:
"This is Paul Tsongas"