First on CNN: RNC makes play for unhappy Obama voters in new ad buy
March 16th, 2014
08:00 PM ET
7 months ago

First on CNN: RNC makes play for unhappy Obama voters in new ad buy

Washington (CNN) - The messages are all GOP meat and potatoes: smaller government, less regulation on industry, school choice, entitlement reform, and sparking job creation.

But the messengers aren't who you might expect from the Republican Party.


What the Republican National Committee says is a new 14-state, six-figure ad buy and sweeping digital effort attempts to give new and diverse voices to some tried-and-true Republican policies. The "Why I'm A Republican" campaign, built around the tagline "Create Your American Dream," features African-American, Asian-American, Hispanic and young voters, critical demographics that President Barack Obama won by wide margins on his way to re-election in 2012.

Like the untraditional messengers, where the ads run will also reflect an evolving strategy at the RNC. The project not only checks all the usual boxes - earmarking money to purchase TV time in 14 target Senate states - but also looks to grab the attention of those whose channel-browsing habits don't include the major networks or some who don't even use a television.

The ads will begin airing Tuesday on cable channels targeting mostly women: Bravo, Food, E!, Hall, HGTV, Life, LMN, Oxygen, OWN, TLC and We. The Obama campaign used a similar strategy to great effect in 2012, eschewing the major networks in favor of cable stables like ESPN, where they felt their messaging could find a more receptive audience.

In addition to using cable, the RNC hopes to capture younger eyeballs with spots on Hulu, and pre-roll ads on DramaFever.com, plus the 14 Senate states, New York, and Washington, D.C. The campaign will also include Facebook and Google ads, a national ad buy on TVOne during "Roland Martin Reports," and a Spanish-language ad set to run on Telemundo in Denver, Albuquerque, Washington, D.C., and New Orleans.

The first of the series of 30-second spots was viewed Sunday morning on CNN's "State of the Union."

Watch the first ad in the "Create Your American Dream" campaign:

With November's midterm elections still months away, the March investment in television and digital space by the RNC is an early marker of what will be a key part of the 2014 GOP electoral strategy: swaying disaffected Obama voters to their side.

In touting the launch of the new campaign, the RNC stressed that these messages are coming from real Americans and that the ads were tested with focus groups of swing voters in Ohio and New Mexico, something the committee hopes catches the attention of outside groups with stakes in elections across the country.

While Moody's predicts political ad revenues for local market TV stations will dip when compared with 2012, broadcasters across the country are still expected to rake in about $2.6 billion from political groups and campaigns. Outside groups like Americans for Prosperity, Club for Growth, Crossroads GPS, Senate Conservatives Action and Congressional Leadership Fund have already made heavy investments in the 2014 cycle, and the emphasis on the focus-group-approved messaging by the RNC is meant to signal to these and other players what template to follow in their own future ad buys.

"The best way to connect with voters is for them to hear from their friends and neighbors about the issues that are important to them, including job creation, school choice and opportunity," RNC Chairman Reince Priebus said about the new project.

"This ad campaign will highlight why so many millions of Americans vote Republican," Priebus added. "It's because we fight to empower people. It's because we believe in the value of every person. It's because we know that each American should have the chance to create their own American Dream."


Filed under: 2014 • Reince Priebus • RNC
soundoff (58 Responses)
  1. ThinkAgain - Don't like Congress? Get rid of the repub/tea bag majority.

    The only problem with this ad campaign is the gop economic, military and foreign policies are all PROVEN FAILURES.

    March 16, 2014 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  2. ThinkAgain - Don't like Congress? Get rid of the repub/tea bag majority.

    The only reason the gop/tea bags are even spending a dime on these commercials is they know that the only way they can win is for thinking people to stay home on November 4, 2014.

    Don't be one of them – GET OUT AND VOTE DEMOCRATIC!

    March 16, 2014 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  3. ThinkAgain - Don't like Congress? Get rid of the repub/tea bag majority.

    If you for a MINUTE think that the gop has the long-term best interest of our country at heart, you're a fool. So what if you're not completely satisfied with President Obama's performance? The LAST thing you should do is vote for a repub.

    March 16, 2014 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  4. ThinkAgain - Don't like Congress? Get rid of the repub/tea bag majority.

    So what – they hired some non-white actors to bash the President.

    The gop/tea bag base may be so easily led, but this campaign is going to backfire big time.

    Don't be a fool – get out and vote Democratic on November 4, 2014.

    March 16, 2014 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  5. ThinkAgain - Don't like Congress? Get rid of the repub/tea bag majority.

    Less regulation on industry? Code for multinational corporations to act with impunity, regardless of consequence to the environment or people. Go live in China or India first to get an idea of what happens as a result.

    School choice? Abandonment of public schools so only those with means can get a decent education. And vouchers for religious school. Again, go to a third-world country to see how that plays out.

    Entitlement reform? Screw people out of Social Security, Medicare and all programs that help the most vulnerable among us. Dog-eat-dog, baby!

    Sparking job creation? 10 years of the lowest taxes on the rich and where are all the jobs? You want to keep subsidizing job creation overseas by these multinationals and continue to see the American middle class disappear?

    If you for a MINUTE think that the gop has the long-term best interest of our country at heart, you're a fool. So what if you're not completely satisfied with President Obama's performance? The LAST thing you should do is vote for a repub.

    March 16, 2014 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  6. Mike in Texas

    The Republicans don't have a job creation idea. They believe in a myth: Trickle down economics. They believe that if you get rid of regulations, jobs will be created. Myth. They believe if you give more tax breaks to the wealthy they will create jobs...myth. Currently the wealthiest in the country are sitting on more personal wealth than ever in history yet they don't create jobs. Why? Because there is no demand. The term "job creator" is a myth as well. CEO's and such don't have a plan that says we want to increase our workforce by 10% over the next two years. They work on increasing profit by either increasing revenue or decreasing costs. Hiring and laying off is a by product of a company's performance. For instance, you hear in the news about a company making record profits and then turning around and laying off people because demand is down. They aren't laying them off because they are losing money, they are laying them off because they have no work for them to do. We could give Wal Mart a 0% tax rate and if the next day every one quit shopping at Wal Mart, they would be out of business. Why? because no one is shopping there. Demand creates jobs. The people who spend are the middle class. Why do you think the stock market is surging yet the economy is sluggish? Because the wealthy are profiting off the stock market that is why and the fed is keeping rates low and pumping money into the economy.

    March 16, 2014 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  7. bill

    those entitled will not understand empowerment and this is the answer.

    March 16, 2014 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  8. jinx9to88

    Really? Really? GOP running on jobs, jobs and jobs again?

    March 16, 2014 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  9. jinx9to88

    GOP will be looking to gerrymander any seats they win because they know they will cant win the White House without the popular vote.

    March 16, 2014 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  10. Chris-E...al

    HOW ? Could anyone stand beside and support 0bama and his lies and sleep at night ? We need a leader next time that works for all PPL N0T just his or hers chosen few !

    March 16, 2014 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  11. Jan Nappylotto

    Vote Democrat!
    We need to increase the National debt beyond $17 trillion!
    We need a stagnant economy. If we run out if money we can just print more!
    We need to promote job killing policies that the CBO identified like Obamacare and raising the minimum wage.

    Vote Democrat because who doesn't like free candy (I.e food stamps, healthcare, college tuition)

    March 16, 2014 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  12. Randy, San Francisco

    The Republican Tea Party's antagonism towards women, gays, unions, minorities, immigrants and poor trumps any of the president's shortcomings.

    March 16, 2014 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  13. MMCinMPLS

    Let me be the first to say, I have been disappointed with the Prez. However, I am not stupid enough to believe for a second that the Republicans have my interest, or the interest of the country in mind. I am not a Wealthy person, I am not in the defense industry, I don't particularly believe you need an AK to shoot varmits, I do believe background checks at gun shows are a smart thing to do, I do not think Citizens United is in the best interests of this country, don't think it has a damn thing to do with the First amendment. To be clear, I have voted both parties in the past, but until the Republicans bring a candidate that represents more of middle ground, it won't happen. Hopefully, many more like me will see through an ad such as this

    March 16, 2014 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  14. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    Nice try GOP. I am a middle aged, middle class white man, but a lot of my family and friends are people of color and of Latin descent and they will not be affected by these lies. They know that you hate them and they will NEVER vote for you. Give up the ghost. Join the 21st Century and accept people for who they are. Stop hating!

    March 16, 2014 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |
  15. Marie MD

    Good luck. As unhappy as democrats might be I don't think they would turn dumb and vote for the teaklans.
    The teaklans want to control our lives and make us miserable. Their only friends are the 1%.

    March 16, 2014 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
  16. rs

    The GOP is crazy- sure as some have said ours is a nearly 50-50% nation, but no one buys the idea that "smaller government, less regulation on industry, school choice, entitlement reform" does anything for the middle class or the poor. They might as well have promised another tax cut for the rich. Oh, yeah, they want that too......

    March 16, 2014 10:29 pm at 10:29 pm |
  17. Jack72601

    They should have put them all together at the end saying: "We're Republicans and we're all voting against our own best interests and yours too. Won't you join us?"

    March 16, 2014 10:43 pm at 10:43 pm |
  18. wendel

    big deal the party of old farts and old ideas. what a laugh young people can just look around and see what they stand for.

    March 16, 2014 10:52 pm at 10:52 pm |
  19. HenryMiller

    Yeah, all those "critical demographics" are all for Big Government, Obamacare, and endless freebies—right up until the time they're told they have to start paying for it.

    March 16, 2014 11:11 pm at 11:11 pm |
  20. S. B. Stein

    How accurate is this one person an example? How many other people are going through what she is going through? I have a feeling that someone could have redirected this person to better option.

    March 16, 2014 11:14 pm at 11:14 pm |
  21. J.V.Hodgson

    The elephant in the room just excurgitated multiple times and the smell is very familiar. Meaning the words don't match what they actually do in congress at least not the versions the ads portray except for supporting the oil industry... the rest is the invention of the verbal spin doctors.
    Regards,
    Hodgson.

    March 16, 2014 11:37 pm at 11:37 pm |
  22. Bill from GA

    "The "Why I'm A Republican" campaign"

    Is that like the "Why I'm A Mormon" campaign that worked so well for mitts back when??

    March 16, 2014 11:40 pm at 11:40 pm |
  23. Thankfulnote

    That was a great ad.

    March 17, 2014 12:02 am at 12:02 am |
  24. Peace

    This is nonsense. One Asian, one white, one black, one latino etc. etc. Isn't what America is made of? How can those 7 republicans in an ad convince millions of people to listen to them? Do they think other people don't think themselves? Get over it, It is only seven votes for GOP and not more.

    March 17, 2014 12:47 am at 12:47 am |
  25. Elbonian

    If you are an unhappy Obama voter, you should know that you will be a great deal more unhappy as a Republican. It seems that Republicans have adopted an ideology which sees civilization as an enemy, so Republicans try to tear down most civilized institutions and replace them with things closer to anarchy than to actual civilization. We see this in the nearly religious attachment to guns displayed by Republicans. I live in Georgia where a new law purports to give just about anybody, including convicted felons, the right to shoot and kill anybody so long as a colorable self-defense claim can be made. This is more akin of the wild west in the late 1800s than it is to a modern civilization. Republicans also want to eliminate all forms of government regulations, thereby allowing the robber barons of industry to have their way with all their employees and customers. This too is closer to anarchy than it is to civilization which above all things has rules of behavior. The one thing Republicans seek to eliminate is rules of behavior enforced by government. Again, this is going back to the late 1800s when there were no real unions, no anti-trust laws, and people were greatly divided into classes of poor workers and wealthy business owners.

    Thus, the only people who should ever vote Republican are wealthy business owners who have the wherewithal to survive in an anarchy. The rest of us need to reject modern-day Republicanism, a form of Republican ideology which would turn even Barry Goldwater into a Democrat if he were still alive today (Barry was pro choice and pro-gay-rights, for instance).

    March 17, 2014 02:58 am at 2:58 am |
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