Herman Cain’s “smokin’ hot” ad might have been a bit puzzling to political strategists, but, with the national radio ad he recently released, the candidate returns to far more standard ad fare. He’s ultimately gotten enough mileage out of Mark Block’s bleak expression and deadpan tone (not to mention the candidate’s own eery smile at the end of the ad) to justify the creation and release of that YouTube video — but it’s refreshing to listen to this ad nevertheless. His roots as a radio broadcaster are apparent in the ease of his speech — and that Southern accent! Sheesh! No matter what he says, he sounds friendly saying it. A conservative in the cheerful mode of Ronald Reagan, indeed.

Beyond the basic aesthetics of the ad, the strategy for it makes sense. Matt Lewis explains:

There’s also the interesting concept of running national radio ads — rather than targeting them to, say, Iowa. The theory is that raising Cain’s national name ID raises his national poll numbers. This, in turn, will generate momentum, positive press, and — most important — boost fundraising.

Regarding the content — whether 9-9-9 does, in fact, mean jobs, jobs, jobs — depends upon your point of view. Cain is certainly committed to it in this ad (and always) — and that made me want to give the plan a second look. (I let Rick Santorum into my head during the Bloomberg debate and subsequently dismissed Cain’s plan from the “extra revenue stream” standpoint.) So, I did what this ad suggested and clicked on 999MeansJobs.com. If an ad does what it’s designed to do, that means it’s effective, right?