The new John McCain ad is beautifully shot and edited, but I really have to wonder about the wisdom of the message.
Starting off with a bit of hippy-baiting (seriously, how else do you explain it), McCain seems determined to be the Baby-Boomer's correction for Bill Clinton. I don't know how effective it is to be the candidate of the past when so many people are begging to look beyond the Bush years into the future.
The second, and more powerful theme, of the ad is on John McCain and his storied (mostly fictional if one were to look at his record) Maverick status. Top Gun was a long time ago, and does anyone really want to tout themselves as the new Tom Cruise? Maybe not. But McCain is bound a determined to ride that fighter jet into the White House. Given the last eight years of ass kissing, McCain smells more like Bush's briefs than jet fuel. I think this is another loser—though I can't really blame the guy for trying it.
Third, and this is the strangest message, McCain basically tells us we're all fucked. It's a "dangerous world" and the economy is in a "shambles." Doesn't that inspire you? What McCain's media advisors are missing is that we're in this shit mess because of a REPUBLICAN President and years of a REPUBLICAN dominated Congress who rubberstamped Bush's disastrous policies. Guess what, John McCain is not the nominee of the "maverick" Party, he's repping the Republican Party and that albatross is getting heavier by the day.
All in all, I'll give the ad a split decision: B+ on creative execution; D- on strategy.