POLITICS

Ontario PC Leader Patrick Brown's 'Running' Ad Is Similar To Wynne's. And Romney's.

07/02/2015 03:43 EDT | Updated 07/02/2015 03:59 EDT

New Ontario Progressive Conservative leader Patrick Brown has set out to define himself in an ad that highlights his love of running.

But it's hard to dismiss its similarity to one produced for Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne.

Brown's spot, released online in late May but generating buzz again this week, features glistening shots of actors running in natural landscapes.

"Why do I run? I run because every time I do I see something new," he says in a voiceover.

It takes some time before Brown is seen running in footage from a marathon on the Great Wall of China.

The PC leader's ad is an attempt to cut a softer figure for his party, after his predecessor Tim Hudak used "fast cuts, frantic violins, high-contrast shots of city skylines and footage of himself speaking confidently in the legislature," The Globe and Mail noted Tuesday.

The ad was previously criticized by National Post columnist Robyn Urback, who said it doesn't tell viewers enough about who he is.

"The PCs have an opportunity to re-write the record, to offer a fresh face to lead a Tory revival in Ontario. And what do they do? Slap together some stock footage, empty clichés and a Wayne Gretzky quote," she wrote.

"Who is Patrick Brown? Who knows?"

There's also the matter of its similarity to an ad that Wynne released in 2013.

The Globe noted the similarities, saying this and another ad focusing on Ontario Hydro borrow "a page, if not entire chapters" from Ontario's premier.

But Wynne is far from the first politician to make an ad that focuses on her love of running.

Former U.S. presidential candidate Mitt Romney long ago released an ad while seeking the Republican nomination that showed him jogging, as a narrator listed his accomplishments as a governor, businessman and Olympic Games organizer.

And in May, federal Liberal Party candidate Andrew Leslie also released a spot online that revealed he's a big fan of cardio, too.

The Toronto Sun joked that Ontario's next provincial election could be "settled with a marathon."

By then we certainly will have seen more of Brown pounding the pavement than we did in his video.

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