05.06.2013 08:11 AM

Hi, I’m Justin from Student Lawn Care services, and have I got a deal for you!

Dude, yellow shorts? Seriously?

Sigh.  If nothing else, I predict the 2015 election campaign will hang more on visuals more than any other in our nation’s proud history.

(Oh, and advisors? Advise.  Don’t enable.)


  1. bigcitylib says:

    Looks a guy you could have a beer with. And I think that’s the point.

    • Warren says:

      Don’t fall in love with the meat, BCL.

      Also: he doesn’t look can legally have a beer.

    • ottawacon says:

      It does, but I don’t think he needs more ‘humanizing’ the way Harper does. I think Justin is a very naturally likable guy, and he does not struggle to get that across. Images like this remind me that his main qualification to be a PM is that his father was – and I still believe PET was a terrible PM, as do many people in regions he needs to gain ground in.

      • andy says:

        The only place he needs to struggle to gain ground in is in Ontario- and there, the name association isn’t a bad thing.
        Why waste time appealing to people that would never vote for him in the first place?
        Liberals lost because a lot of traditional Liberal voters stayed home rather than vote for Iggy or dion.
        Those are the people Trudeau needs to woo.

        My captcha code includes WTF !!

        • ottawacon says:

          34 seats, in 3rd place in the popular vote in most of the country, and the only place he needs to struggle is Ontario?

          Liberals lost because a lot of traditional Liberal voters aren’t Liberal voters anymore.

      • Jennifer Dunham says:


      • Jennifer Dunham says:

        Sorry…this was the post I replied to with “Ditto!”

    • Sean says:

      I agree with Warren on this one. Trudeau has already won over the easy going, fun loving folks. He owns that space and will own it the rest of his time as leader.

      At this time he needs to show that he is capable of appearing as if he *could* address an economic conference packed full of snooty bankers. He needs to communicate that he could handle the establishment.

      Those of you who think this stuff doesn’t matter: Do you remember Chretien ever dressing as if he WAS a petit gars. Rarely if ever. I can think of exactly one poster. Because he knew he owned that space. He knew the space he was battling for was elsewhere.

  2. I’d definitely trust that guy to cut my lawn though.

    In all seriousness, if this wasn’t intentional I’m a monkey’s uncle. Free articles every week on how justin looks today, all the while he’s out eating the CPC’s progressive conservative lunch.

  3. AP says:

    You know at this time of year I get also sorts of guys who look just like that knocking on my door asking to paint my house or aerate my lawn.

    In his first ad he wore a shirt unbuttoned almost down to his navel. Now he’s showing off his camping attire. I predict that in ad 3 we’ll see him a pair of Speedos.

  4. james curran says:

    F@ck. Too bad he wasn’t on his long board. I’d become a Laurier member again for that visual. The vieo’s fine. And, yes BCL, I have had a JD with that guy.

  5. and take your hand out of your pocket, is it cold? lol Seriously though, he can take a bit of a rub for silly stuff. Never let him go out without clothes though, look what is happening to King Harper, all hanging out there n stuffm, no one he trusts telling him he got no clothes.

  6. He does have this in his favor: you are most certainly *not* going to see either the PM or the Opposition leader in that kind of rig, in public.

    But this particular outfit is perfectly in place with a lot of forty-something dads, at home, in this kind of weather, at this particular time. Maybe Justin’s kids will cringe a little, in a a few years, but it does show that JT is comfortable enough in his own skin that he can do an ad in an array that he doesn’t need to feel self-conscious about. It’s a point of identification with the suburban public, which is a voter demographic that LPC hasn’t really gone after for a number of years now.

  7. jbro says:


    i defer to yr experience in these matters, but is there any chance that by going against the grain, not being slick and formulaic, jt is setting himself apart from the other guys?

    like obama, he’s the 1st political person in a particular context who isn’t from my parents or grandparents era. it means alot to me that he’s someone i naturally relate to. i know it’s not everything, but it’s the 1st thing he has going for him, in my view. he’ll get slicked up, but i hope not so much that he goes from DIY to whitney houston in a heartbeat.


    he’s doing this because harper is so palpably uncomfortable being human, at least publicly, right?

  8. I have never seen such an artfully NOT tucked in Tee Shirt. I bet they agonised about that for half an hour. ‘It looks too deliberate, try tucking in one half’, ‘Nope, tuck it all in, it looks like he just got back from the outhouse’, nope, maybe go back to the suit and tie thing?’. I have gone through the same deliberations before. I just KNOW my sisters are going to tease me if I tuck in a Polo shirt with the cargo shorts, but I look like a slob if I leave it untucked. The only bigger summer fashion faux pas, guaranteeing my sisters in Law shall join in with my sisters in mocking me is socks with the sandals.

    Incidentally, I spend more than half my summer dressed in these exact clothes. He looks to me like a typical house guest at any of the dozens of BBQ’s I have every year. Only thing missing is a beer, or more likeley, a tumbler of chilled chablis.
    Either Trudeau is turning conventional communications on it’s head and succeeding, or he is wandering around in the outfield.

    Now turn on the volume, oh yeah, he raised a million bucks in two weeks. Hmmm, who is right and who is wrong I wonder?

  9. CamMac says:

    I wish I could disagree with Warren on this one, but I can’t. As I watched, I just kept thinking: “People gave you a million dollars, could you not have found someone who could lend you a collared shirt?”


    Anyway, at least they had the good sense to keep the flip-flops and hemp ankle bracelet out of the frame.

  10. OK, I just followed Warrens earlier advice about volume off for the video.


    Holy crap, HE IS ME!, I mean, the Greystone house, is the same granite finish as my house. The lawn, well it is not immaculately groomed, it looks pretty well like mine will when I FINALLY get around to mowing it, likely this week sometime. The bushes in the background are not totally disrespectable, they just haven’t been trimmed for a few years. The clothes, The manly good looks….. well, maybe he isn’t exactly me, but he is speaking to me, a late forties, moderately well off guy who is too busy (or too lazy) to mow his lawn every week.

  11. Shmizer says:

    A guy wearing shorts on a warm day…oh the madness.. Amazing all the press a politician garners when he not wearing a suit and a noose around his neck.

  12. bob loblaw says:

    Would have been better if he was wearing a Duck Dynasty T shirt.

  13. wsam says:

    He looks like a regular guy. His real opponent, Mulclair, looks like a career politician and a bureaucrat. Muclair looks old.

    Justin isn’t really running against Harper. Harper and Justin use each other for fundraising. The person he needs to defeat electorally is Mulclair.

  14. Austin So says:

    You are in danger of being part of the political species that may go extinct, WK…it is time to adapt or walk away…

    I will bet you that Harper and Mulcair will try to do the same thing, and will fail miserably.

    JT looks like all the 40-something dads out there, myself included. Almost financially stable, about to be crapped on in their 60s because of the economic mess that is coming thanks to Harper. Facing real threats to their job security because of boneheaded placation to industry through the rise in the temporary workforce of which we are now part of and have to compete against.

    • Warren says:

      Okay, Austin, I look forward to reading your next book about the subject.

      • Austin So says:

        You know I’m going to work hard on that…I’m writing a veritable tome you know…

        Of course, I’ll be following Harper’s lead on that one…

  15. William says:

    Bottom line is that, for now, this strategy is working.

    Plenty of time to gear up for the 2015 campaign….right now, they are presenting a brand that you can relate to, understands you…as opposed to a cold, aloof PM and an angry opposition leader.

    I’ll take the hopeful, regular guy.

    Next leg come autumn or next spring is showing you have the ideas and the team to shore up any perceived deficiencies.

    Notice I am not seeing those CPC ads anymore on local tv in Montreal…I guess they are tired of helping Trudeau fund raise.

  16. Stuart says:

    I do not dislike Justin, but I do struggle with whether he is qualified to be PM. When I watched this, that was only confirmed. You’ll bet that Harper and Mulcair try the same thing? Really? Not a chance. This is a Stockwell Day moment to me. Not a good idea.

  17. J.W. says:

    Like your point Austin. He’ going for under 30-35 ish types; they don’t see things the way we do.

  18. dave says:

    “Tis an unweeded garden
    That grows to seed: things rank and gross in nature
    Possess it merely.

  19. Glen says:

    Making fun of someone’s shorts? And people wonder why so many have lost faith in politics!

  20. Jeff says:

    I showed it to my 8 yr old son this morning over breakfast. Guess what he said? “Wow! Over a million bucks? That’s a lot Daddy!” Didn’t mention the shorts.

  21. Michael Bussiere says:

    Again, mostly/entirely guys commenting here? I’ve asked representatives of the 52% who use words like “adorable” “cute”, and “hot”, with a definite swooning tone of voice.

    Politics is emotional, right?

  22. Graham says:

    This vid announces a “huge” fundraising surge for the Liberals since Justin became leader, to the tune of about $1 million in just over three weeks.

    I hate to burst the Liberals bubble, but the Liberals raised about $4 million in Ignatieff’s first three months on the job. They then fell back to their usual totals.

  23. JB Blauq says:

    This look like someone I’d:

    – want to go snowboarding with..
    – ask about my kids old POG collection’s possible value..
    – ask which longboard was the sickest
    – represent my country’s best interests while sitting down with the likes of Vlad Putin & Xi Jinping

    *pick 3 of the above..

  24. m5slib says:


    I would never like to disagree with you since you know way more about this than I do. I really didn’t mind this though, but then again, they’ve already got me in the bag. I’m thinking along the lines of working with a candidate and making them the best version of themselves. There’s just something unquantifiable that might work for Justin with this kind of stuff – something that would be disastrous for anyone else. Who knows, it could be a total disaster for him, but he seems to have that intangible that allows him to do things a bit differently. Plus, it doesn’t hurt to look like a regular Joe compared to the angry twins, but of course, time…

  25. Mark N says:

    This is pretty much the view out my window on Saturdays. Guys inUgly shorts and unbranded t’s puttering around the front lawn. Looks like a Mark’s Work Warehouse outfit. If he’s going for middle class/early middle age, he’s nailed it.

  26. catherine says:

    Why did they hold the iphone vertically? I suppose if they held it horizontally, it would have been more difficult to get the cargo shorts into the frame.

    I imagine this video is going to piss off Harper. People giving the kid in shorts all that money. Maybe it’ll drive Harper to make some snarky remark or release another attack ad.

    • ray says:

      I don’t care what JT wears, says or does as long as he wins because in 2 years time I only want to hear the ghost of Howard Cosell screaming “Down goes Harper, Down goes Harper, Down goes Harper.”

    • Mark says:

      McParland has apparently never used an iPhone:
      “The video is shot with two black bars on either side and Justin in the middle, looking suspiciously like it’s meant to mimic the Canadian flag.”

  27. kre8tv says:

    I have bigger problems with the hands-in-the-pockets thing than the yellow shorts. Maybe the idea here is to shoot hundreds of these informal things and flood the social media channels: lo-fi is not all that bad of an idea. This just needs some fine tuning.

    As opposed to that let-me-tell-you-about-our-coalition video that Dion did. {shudder}

  28. EB says:

    What was it in 2011? Something close to 40% of eligible voters couldn’t be bothered.

    What are the chances that Justin and his advisers have made a conscious decision to go after the 20-35 yearolds and people who have ‘given up’ on voting? If he takes a markedly different approach to politics to either Mr. Harper or Mr. Mulcair, perhaps he can inspire a populist revival in returning to the polls…

  29. billg says:

    Nothing says ” I am not in over my head” better then yellow cargo shorts and a wrinkled tee shirt. I can still hear all the Cons saying that the wet suit and seadoo made Stockwell Day look young and vigorous.

  30. Carlos says:

    Like it. Makes him look approachable, and more in touch with the masses than those politicos that show up in “chinos and no tie” look at summer BBQs.

  31. Graham says:

    After a little research, the Liberals fundraising is already SLOWING, no increasing.

    They said $500,000 in the first week, see here:


    Now they claim $1 million in 3 weeks. So:

    $500,000 in the first 7 days = $71,428/day average

    $500,000 in the next 14 days = $35,714/day average.

  32. Ridiculosity says:

    Your daily chuckle: just for one moment, picture Stephen Harper wearing the same attire.

  33. frmr disgruntled Con now Happy Lib says:

    There is “casual”, and there is “dress casual”……this is the former……bordering on sloppy…….I suspect his fashionable father, who pushed the boundaries of his day, but never exceeded them, would be aghast…..Youre in the big leagues now, M. Trudeau….time to start dressing the part…..

  34. Matt says:

    Meah, most times I agree with things here, on this one I don’t. Khaki shorts and a t-shirt look… well, normal. The $1m is a big deal and my first impression here was kind of laughing at how weird either Harper or Mulcair would look in shorts and the weird, spindly, pale and pasty chicken legs that both are hiding. Thankfully.

  35. Couple of observations.
    1) I got this video in an email. The email was from the same servers that all the Trudeau campaign comms have come from. This is not an ad. The message is putatively thanks for the donations, but this went to supporters, not just donors. This video is supporting a fundraising ask.
    2) Some people have claimed above this was recorded on a handheld. Definitely not an ad. Probably going to see a video like this with every ask and comunication from team Trudeau from now on if it raises money. If not they will change up the format.
    3) The video was cheap, the direct audience was totally known, and friendly. The ask was couched in terms that would appeal to that direct audience, and generate more $$.

    We are all over-analysing this video. It’s shelf life is about 10 minutes. There will be another one next week, and the week thereafter, and so on…

  36. G says:

    Good god. YOU were the one pushing for his leadership when these things were abundantly obvious. I don’t know what the hell you were expecting.

    T-O-L-D Y-O-U S-O

  37. wsam says:

    Pipelines aren’t necessarily ideological unless you are against further developing energy resources. There are practical objections to pipelines — some of which those objecting to Keystone have raised.

    Pushing through legislation which makes it impossible to challenge anything to do with a pipeline’s route, for example, is ideological (and undemoctratic).

    Harper’s base will never vote for Trudeau. They are assholes. Anyone who thinks John Baird, for example, is doing a great job sticking it to the lefty weirdo academics, America-haters and Arabs who run the UN is lost to the Liberal party. They are bad for Canada and the world. How many wars do neo-conservatives have to lose before we stop listening to them?

    The Liberals need to pry support away from Mulclair.

    • billg says:

      Or, if its all that bad, shut down the LPC and merge with the NDP, which will never happen, which, makes me think its not all that bad. You cant keep telling voters that Canada is failing badly as a country and then not put the countrys interests before your own. Well, you can, but it gets tired in a hurry.

  38. Chris says:

    “Hi I’m Justin Trudeau. When I’m not skipping votes in the house to collect 10k a speech to school children, I’m skipping votes in the house to hang out in my shorts and t shirt at my home. Drop by for a bbq if you have free time. Oh that’s right you arn’t rich like me. You have a mortgage to pay for. OK well have a nice day and thanks for the donation.”

  39. Kaplan says:

    Looks like the 40-ish guy who moved in across the street. Got a couple kids, attractive wife, and you only really see him on the weekends when he’s working in the garage or fixing his deck. Not unlike a certain Premier Dad I remember hearing so much about…

  40. wsam says:

    “Hi. I’m Steven Harper. I love pandas. I prefer CNN to Canadian news. CBC people are all communists. I’ve been telling people for years I’m writing a book about hockey, because it makes me seem more like a regular guy. I love Calgary. But I support Toronto because of a poll I had commissioned. Regular guys in Canada really like hockey and there are a lot of regular guys in Toronto. Also the military. Tanks. Trucks. Guns. I didn’t really do sports as a kid. I don’t know if they had hockey where I grew up. I’ll have to ask that Liberal guy Ken Dryden. He wrote a book. Maybe he can help me with mine. I cannot wait to retire. I am going to sit on so many corporate boards Brian Mulroney’s head is going to become uncorked from all the spinning.”


    • billg says:

      Wait 2 more years and you can add…”one of Canada’s longest serving and most successful Prime Ministers” to that list.
      And who doesnt love Panda’s?

    • MCBellecourt says:

      You forgot one. “I likes to sing Beatles songs that talk about gettin’ high ‘cos it makes me look half-assed cool”.

  41. whyshouldIsellyourwheat says:

    The V-neck T-shirt was a huge mistake. He already has the V-neck vote.

    Some of us are going to have a lot of fun distributing the Ben Stiller SNL video on V-neck fashion.

  42. Windsurfer says:

    I vote WSAM as the new blog-master here.

    Warren, take a break. WSAM will act as the neutral arbiter of content here.

  43. Marshall McLuhan would have a great laugh..
    Its a horrible photo.. conveys nothing ..
    portrays a man with a shirt too small
    Suggests at least 250 mundane possibilities

    My only question is.. who took the shot & why ?
    What’s the copy.. the pitch ..
    what detergent does he use ? (a 2nd question)

    We know this man supports FIPA & China
    voted accordingly with Stephen Harper,
    is pro tar sands/pipeline
    therefore anti environment ..

    Thankfully he does not have a prop canoe paddle in his hand
    or a trout fly stuck in a squishy hat on his head
    or a panda on the steps behind him
    or a First Nation warrior with a handkerchief over his/her face ..

    I’ve just wasted 3.5 minutes of my life considering a shot of Justin Harper
    near someone’s steps on a day that is not raining.. or snowing
    Thank you & good day .. and next time hire a photojournalist
    or an unpaid intern ……

    • Kaspar Juul says:

      I just wasted 30 seconds reading you’re comment. We’re even.

    • Woody says:

      “Youth instinctively understand the present environment – the electric drama. It lives mythically and in depth.”
      Marhsall McCluhan, The Medium is the Massage (1967)

  44. kitt says:

    Well now, JT just proves that he is a regular, ordinary Canadians, just like the middle class and their parents are use to associating with. Plus when he want to he cleans up real nice to meet all those foreign visitors and other big wigs in Ottawa.

    This video WORKS!!! Believe it.

    • Elizabeth says:

      It is working like mad – it’s in Kelly McParland’s piece – which takes shots at both sides, but the main thing is — the media coverage he’s getting, and the whole ad is in the National Post. Getting so I prefer the Post to the G&M by far.

  45. frmr disgruntled Con now Happy Lib says:

    Just watched the whole thing over at Liberal.ca…….and I have one word in response…….”ugh”……

    The promo comes across as amateurish, and he looks anything but prime ministerial……..

    Why not make the same announcement wearing a smart trendy nicely tailored suit, and narrow tie?…..then at least the announcement of raising a million dollars( a fine accomplishment, I will admit) would carry a bit more weight……

    Instead we get someone who looks as if he was announcing the local PAC bake sale was a roaring success……

  46. kitt says:

    OMG look what Obama is wearing….. gasp and look what he is doing……….


  47. Elizabeth says:

    I love it – it’s great. Trudeau is Everyman, and it’s working.

    This too: http://twitpic.com/cog0ep There are layers to this one.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *