Elizabeth Embry, one of a 13 Democratic candidates for Baltimore mayor, joined the TV ad race over the weekend with an ad titled "Focused Future."
She joins fellow candidates David Warnock and Catherine Pugh on Baltimore TV. Warnock has bought almost $600,000 in air time since Dec. 28, while a spokesman for Pugh says her campaign has bought $3,000 of time.
The Warnock spending figures are from Federal Communications Commission documents that must be filed when a candidate advertises on broadcast TV, which is regulated by the FCC. The $600,000 figure does not include spending on cable.
Pugh's $3,000 figure could not be independently confirmed because she is only advertising on cable TV, which is not regulated by the FCC.
Like Pugh's ad, Embry's is only airing as a Baltimore cut-in on cable TV, according to a campaign spokesman.
"We are beginning with cable the first several weeks and then expanding the buy to both cable and local network affiliates," Steve Kaiser said in email response to Baltimore Sun inquiries about the extent of the campaign's ad buy.
"We don't want to disclose at this point the size or cost of the buy (for obvious competitive reasons). It is the beginning of a very significant TV buy," he added. "We do plan to have a very strong presence on television as our funding continues to increase."
The best thing about Embry's 30-second ad is the sense of energy it conveys, mainly through the pace of its editing. That might not sound important, but compare it to the slower pace of the Warnock ads, which seem to emphasize slower movement by the candidate. (See one of Warnock's ads here.)
Energy is a good thing in a candidate — especially for a job like mayor of Baltimore, where it seems like there are many big problems that need to be addressed immediately. Slower and stately isn't going to get it in this job.
The ad stresses public safety, ending with Embry saying, "To have a great city, we have to be a safe city."
So far, though, I still have to say the most effective ads I've seen are the attack ads against candidate Sheila Dixon that ran on social media in December and reminded voters of how she pleaded guilty to stealing gift cards intended for the needy while she was mayor. See one of those ads here.