One of the advantages of 527 groups is that they tend to be less subject to the sort of groupthink that permeates most every political campaign. Would the Bush campaign, on its own, ever have come up with something like the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth? And would they have wanted their branding on it? My guess is definitely not to the latter question, and probably not to the former.
Likewise, this unorthodox ad put together by a group called the Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund is something we almost certainly wouldn't have seen from the Obama campaign, which has improved its advertising in recent days, but which still operates within a relatively narrow range of messaging:
Why is this significant? Because according to a MediaCurves analysis, this is "the first ad in over a month that seems to have broken through", scoring extremely strongly according to their metrics and shifting a net of 6 points to Obama-Biden among a focus group who viewed the ad (just barely statistically significant given the sample size).
By comparison, the '1982' ad put together by the Obama campaign itself (technically entitled 'Still') -- their seeming attempt to operate outside the box -- scored rather terribly. Although, the send-up below is mildly amusing: (EDIT -- This ad is a SATIRE, in case that wasn't abundantly clear. The original ad is here.)