Democratic gubernatorial candidate Shri Thanedar is taking a page out of Gov. Rick Snyder's playbook, buying TV airtime during the Super Bowl in an effort to boost his name ID.
The retired Ann Arbor businessman has purchased about $114,000 worth of 30-second commercials before, during and after the Super Bowl on Feb. 4 on two NBC-affiliated stations — WDIV in Detroit and WILX in Lansing — according to public records at the two stations.
“I have very low name ID,” he said. “I’ve been to every corner of the state, but that doesn’t reach as many people as I want to reach.”
According to campaign finance records, Thanedar is largely self-funding his campaign and has already put in $6 million of his own money into the election effort.
But his Super Bowl ad buy doesn’t compare to the amount Snyder spent in 2010 when he introduced himself as “One Tough Nerd.” That Super Bowl spot was part of a $958,000 ad buy in the first two months of his campaign, according to Craig Mauger of the Lansing-based Michigan Campaign Finance Network, which tracks campaign ad spending.
Snyder went that route again in 2014, when he spent about $500,000 on his reelection campaign announcement commercial, which included video of him in scuba gear emerging from a pool and calling himself “The Comeback Kid.”
While the comparisons between Thanedar and Snyder are inevitable — both are businessmen from Ann Arbor with little or no political experience before their runs for office — that is where the similarities end, said Thanedar, an immigrant from India who moved to Michigan in 2010..
“I’m a different kind of businessman than Gov. Snyder,” he said. “I look at the campaign as an entrepreneurial venture. I’m not copying or borrowing anything from anyone else’s book.”
In other news on the gubernatorial front, former Senate Minority Leader Gretchen Whitmer, D-East Lansing, reported raising $3 million during 2017 for her campaign. But campaign finance reports that will provide specific details on the fundraising won't be publicly available until Jan. 31.
Contact Kathleen Gray: 313-223-4430, firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @michpoligal.
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