Two of the latest healthcare ads—one from the conservative Americans for Prosperity and one from the president's political arm, Organizing for America—are so remarkably similar that one has to wonder if both teams are using the same playbook. While reaching different conclusions, both spots are centered on testimonials from healthcare professionals on the merits of the Democrats' healthcare reform proposals.

The ads suggest that both sides agree on what makes an effective issue ad, or at least an ad that intended to cut through the recent clutter: Testimonials from real people.

In the September issue of Politics, consultants forecast that this would be the best tactic for the healthcare debate. John Del Cecato of the Democratic AKPD Media noted the importance of real people speaking directly to the camera. He added that because healthcare is dominating the news, “you need to spend less time explaining why healthcare is important and why they should pay attention."

The political guru behind the Americans for Prosperity, Phil Kerpen, espoused testimonials in Politics's "Shop Talk" in September. "I think the testimonials are key in this debate," he said. "I absolutely agree that hearing an ordinary citizen or an ordinary business owner talk about these issues is most effective."

So, as the healthcare debate continues, expect to see more of this style of ad on the airwaves.
For stories on the healthcare campaigns and more, check out the September issue here.

Jeremy P. Jacobs is the staff writer at Politics. He can be reached at