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Ad watch: In the final stretch, campaign videos get emotional

Screenshot from Mitt Romney campaign video.


The ad blitz is almost over.

With Americans taking to the polls tomorrow, the presidential election campaign's domination of advertising inventory across the U.S. is on the brink of easing. And some of the ads themselves have taken a shift in tone. The candidates are turning to emotional videos designed to remind their supporters why their votes are needed on Tuesday.

For Barack Obama, the heartstring-tugging revolves around a crucial attempt to recapture some of the magic of his first campaign in the halcyon days of 2008, before he had a real record in office to defend. "The Final Push: It's On Us ," released on Saturday, has the tone and feel of the earlier enthusiasm around Mr. Obama as a candidate. In the ad, volunteers and voters talking about why they still believe in the president, and how they couldn't forgive themselves if their failure to vote meant a defeat for Mr. Obama.

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"If you're willing to stick with me, if you're willing to fight with me and press on with me … I guarantee you we will move this country forward," he says in an excerpt of a campaign speech, reworking a slogan that was prominent in 2008: " … We are still fired up. We are still ready to go."

The Romney camp has also turned its attention to reminding people to get to the ballot box. That push began nearly two weeks ago, with the release of "Momentum ," a video that also features shots of moments from his campaign.

It followed up with "America needs a leader ," released on Sunday and features much of the same sweeping, movie-score style music backing Mr. Obama's get-out-the-vote message.

The emotional appeals are perhaps the candidates' most important advertising strategy right now, as the time to convince undecided voters or sway the opposition quickly runs out.

But it's not just sentimental messages at play. Tired of the overly earnest campaign ads? Will Ferrell is also stumping for Mr. Obama. In a video released this weekend, "Will Ferrell Will Do Anything to Get You to Vote ," the comedian offers to make you pasta, help you move a couch, dance for you, eat garbage and punch himself in the face, among other things, to convince people to vote. He sounds desperate so Mr. Obama doesn't have to – but it reflects a tension on both sides of the campaign as Mr. Romney hopes to woo voters away from the incumbent, and Mr. Obama waits to see whether the people who were willing to push for him four years ago will be motivated enough to do it again.

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