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Can Pepsi Ad Guy Sell Hillary Clinton?

Take the Obama challenge.

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With over $50 million raised already, the primary battle between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama promises to be an all-out ad war. Hillary recently signed Jimmy Siegel, a top BBDO creative director who moved into politics with Eliot Spitzer’s feel-good gubernatorial spots. (Siegel also writes thrillers—the movie version of his novel Derailed starred Jennifer Aniston and Clive Owen.) Siegel’s trademark is humanizing his clients—in addition to selling Pepsi Twist and Charles Schwab, he created the Bob Dole–needs-to-show-I.D. spot for Visa. One of his ads for Spitzer (that never ran) had him talking about chiding his daughter for not doing her homework before watching TV. She retorts: ‘You know, Dad, the Republicans are right—you do have a temper.’ ” So look for self-deprecating Hillary. “You have to be genuine to who you are,” he says. Obama’s chief strategist, David Axelrod, who’s worked for Hillary, Spitzer and John Edwards, notes that, unlike advertising, “a political message is different because people have a higher level of skepticism. You can get consumed by the art, but lose the argument.”

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