President Trump’s campaign team has a new spot out to counter Democrat charges that he was slow on virus response and has botched the rest of the process. This ad, with its evocative and creative use of images and music, will go a long way to enable Trump to throw those charges in the dustbin where they belong.
As a former GOP political media consultant with the writing and directing of scores of political spots under my belt, let me break this down for you and detail why this ad will work for the president.
It opens with Trump’s initial virus response and patriotic and powerful images. It then quickly cuts to automatic derision figures like Biden, Pelosi, and CNN‘s Jim Acosta trashing the president from the start of his actions. It displays them going fully partisan and putting politics first before any consideration of the president’s plan. It undermines any Democrat message of a legitimate public health, as opposed to a purely political, response from them.
Then the spot cuts to CNN‘s Wolf Blitzer trying to nail a doctor on Trump’s virus numbers. But the doc turns the tables on Blitzer and backs the president. A nice hit on favorite Trump target CNN. Then we get a quick shot of the now infamous video of a clearly addled, and possibly toasted, Nancy Pelosi weirdly waltzing around her above ground ice cream depository. Thus, Democrat credibility and even sentience takes a nosedive.
Then, using direct and strong music in an abrupt change of tone, the president switches to his comeback message. So, we’ve established the problem and now we offer the solution. It’s a classically successful formula for a political spot.
We cut to powerful images of movement and industry, connoting moving ahead and industrial might. The president intones the main message now, “We built the greatest economy the world has ever seen and we’re going to do it again.” Now, the sinew stiffens and the blood begins to boil. It’s like watching Rocky getting off the mat and punching the lights out of Clubber Lang. The bit closes with a Blue Angel/Thunderbird flyover across the skies of a U.S. city. Hard to get a more powerful image than that.
Now we are fully invested in the concept of Trump in action and a resurgent America. Then, in a clever change-up, the spot shifts to Democrat Governor Andrew Cuomo, D-NY, lauding the president’s virus response. This uses the words of a Democrat, against the Democrats. It reminds voters that the president has bipartisan support and isolates Democrat messages as out of the mainstream.
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We are starting to get to the closing message of the spot and we see everyday heroes of the crisis subtly juxtaposed with a clear pop culture undertone evoking courage and sacrifice. The image of the bus driver giving a thumbs up like a fighter pilot on takeoff is perfect. The spot is hammering home the president’s war message and, as the heroic music rises, it’s like watching a clip from the new Top Gun sequel with the president as Maverick. Then cut to Democrat Governor Gavin Newsom, D-CA, intoning hard hitting praise of the federal response, “promise made, promise kept.” Newsom unwittingly parrots a KAG rally theme. Priceless.
Now, to a crescendo, the president’s voice rises and images of our military and average citizens are quickly cut in and out to focus on the war theme and the message that we’re all in this together. Except, of course, for the Democrats. It closes with the signature MAGA line and features the president iconically standing in silhouette in a White Horse doorway, ready to do battle with the virus and the nation’s foes.
There is only one logical and erudite response to this entire Trump campaign spot: Oh, hell yeah!
This piece was written by David Kamioner on May 7, 2020. It originally appeared in LifeZette and is used by permission.
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