Mike Stabbed with Pencil

The campaign commercials that came to be known as Freddy’s “Six Feet Under” series (candidate talks to camera, otherworldly miasma swirls in the background — go to the light, the light!) have finally been laid to rest. Starting tomorrow, a new 15-second spot will enter rotation. The ad goes after Mike over the public school drop-out rate and…. it’s a good one.

The shot opens with a hand holding an unsharpened yellow pencil against a black background, and a voice-over: “This is how many students enter New York City’s public schools.” The pencil goes into a pencil sharpener and emerges at half the original length: “This is how many graduate. A system that fails half our children fails us all.”

As a reporter at the press screening noted, the spot’s a bit like “This is Your Brain on Drugs.” That’s a good analogy, and not in a negative or hokey way, because the spot is both memorably austere and visually demonstrative. It also avoids the sand trap of specific drop-out figures, which have been a subject of partisan bickering.

Team Ferrer also screened two new Spanish ads that have been airing for the past 4 days. Each features a community member (nurse, construction worker) praising Freddy’s platform. Both end with the candidate saying “Gracias familia, gracias,” while pointing at the camera.

It all makes me wonder if Freddy is pushing his “favorite son” status a bit hard. After all, none of the English language ads say “Thank you family, thank you.” I don’t speak Spanish, though I’d actually love to learn…

Am I not a part of Freddy’s family, too? Mike Stabbed with Pencil