First on CNN: RNC makes play for unhappy Obama voters in new ad buy
March 16th, 2014
08:00 PM ET
6 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. NATHAN WIMBERLY

    HILARIOUS watching Guns Over People tea potty wingnuts walk the plank toward November.They are desperate in March.

    March 17, 2014 05:03 am at 5:03 am |
  2. Tampa Tim

    If you believe this republican crap, you are a Fox viewer. Their list of accomplishments include: 9-11-2001, 15 embassy attacks, two unfunded wars, bank bailouts, unfunded drug programs, the majority of our national debt, record job loss, reduction in veteran's benefits, reduction in social security and Medicare, attacks on women's reproductive rights, anti immigration reform, anti gay rights, reduction in student assistance, 51 attempts to repeal ACA, wait, . . . there's more.

    March 17, 2014 06:24 am at 6:24 am |
  3. Tampa Tim

    And the list goes on: . . . government shutdown costing $24 billion, credit downgrade costing even more, anti worker legislation, anti minimum wage, record job loss, anti environment legislation, anti voter's rights, tax cuts for the wealthy, tax breaks for big oil,

    March 17, 2014 06:29 am at 6:29 am |
  4. salty dog

    We just need to funnel more money to the top 1%, the job creators, despite record inequality, they need more money, isn't that the obvious solution? We just haven't given them enough yet, that's all, its just that simple.

    March 17, 2014 06:32 am at 6:32 am |
  5. salty dog

    Well you won't find a quicker way to say I'm stupid than that.

    March 17, 2014 06:35 am at 6:35 am |
  6. Name fed up

    Whts new they paid actors to tell their same tired story of talking points with no substance or a plan to bring about any change. And the lower taxes less regulation is just the thinking that got us into a tail spin wallstreet took us down blame the American people Bush bailed them out we got nothin they got richer added no jobs countless spil. ls

    March 17, 2014 06:42 am at 6:42 am |
  7. Tony in Maine

    Personal responsibility = you're on your own. The only purpose of government is to protect the privileged status of the wealthy.

    March 17, 2014 06:48 am at 6:48 am |
  8. Tampa Tim

    During the last two years after the GOP realized they needed to reach out to more than their base, but they have instead voted against women's rights, against immigration reform, against veterans, against seniors, against poor people, against American workers, against the gay community, against seniors, against students, against poor children, against the environment, against gun background checks. In all fairness, they did shut down government, lowered our credit rating, obstructed the bipartisan jobs bill, wasted millions trying to repeal ACA, and voted to protect their billionaire sugar daddies.

    March 17, 2014 06:52 am at 6:52 am |
  9. Wake up People! Many Rivers to cross.....

    If people are dumb enough to believe the very same people that are blocking everything THIS POTUS tries to do, then too bad for them.

    These people will never respect THIS POTUS. Their fear of no longer being superior supersedes any reason.

    Many Rivers to cross......

    March 17, 2014 08:20 am at 8:20 am |
  10. Enough is Enough

    And the left will accuse those who appear in the ads of being sellouts to the "cause". We will be told that they are not to be trusted. Just goes to show you that the democrat party has a big tent....as long as you march in goosestep with party doctrine....or else get out....right Gov. Cuomo?

    March 17, 2014 08:25 am at 8:25 am |
  11. Gurgyl

    That as says no meaning at all....it is GOP paid garbage.

    March 17, 2014 08:28 am at 8:28 am |
  12. king

    the repus are hilarious, they've tried like hell for the past 5 years to sink this economy, so that they can blame the black man in the oval office. and now they are trying to take their voters, aint that special. its amazing how these repubs can get these rich actors to lie with a passion. i always say for half of the msnbc to tackle humongous corporate giants like fox business news, cnbc and fox news who still haven't hired a dem host as yet. was like David and Goliath. these folks have billions of dollars at their disposal, and they are spending it like a drunk sailors to take universal healthcare away from these people. Obama needs to give up obamacare these ungrateful people doesn't deserve it. lets well come back the status quo of death, bankruptcy and 20 percent premium hikes every year. these repubs said that obamacare would destroy America, but since its inception this country have been growing for almost four years without a dip once. when in american history did that ever happened. these repubs are baffled because all the negativity they spew out in the public to kill consumer confidence for the past 5 years just haven't work, the people are spending and moving up. the repubs have shut down the government, killed our triple A credit ratings, and still yet this country grows. the only chance they have now to kill this growth is to get the senate and get Reid out of the mix to destroy Obama. this country have been growing an unprecedented 4 years in a row because universal healthcare has become our country's foundation, and the repubs cannot sleep at night. they will kill it because their propaganda machine is too powerful for the dems. and the people hear is too backward to see what they are doing to themselves. i wonder who big corporations would castor to when the repubs destroy the one money attractor this country have. and open up the curtain of the world to big corporations to seek way cheaper labor in china and India. after all the global market is getting more powerful by the day. may YAH help us all.

    March 17, 2014 08:45 am at 8:45 am |
  13. tom l

    This is what 500+ economists have signed in an open letter to Obama:

    “One of the serious consequences of raising the minimum wage is that business owners saddled with a higher cost of labor will need to cut costs, or pass the increase to their consumers in order to make ends meet. Many of the businesses that pay their workers minimum wage operate on extremely tight profit margins, with any increase in the cost of labor threatening this delicate balance.”

    March 17, 2014 08:47 am at 8:47 am |
  14. Al-NY,NY

    what a joke....

    March 17, 2014 09:03 am at 9:03 am |
  15. vic , nashville ,tn

    RNC didn’t learn and they never learn
    Obama voters unhappy with president same time they understand Republican congress blocking his agenda
    This ad won’t help to win African – American, Asian- American, Hispanic and Yong Voters. Because they have seen enough Fox news clips in Daily show
    To win elections GOP must revisit their relationship with FOX news

    March 17, 2014 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  16. Wake up People! Many Rivers to cross.....

    I know it's 2014, but from the actions of many of Americans, it seems like 1876. The end of Reconstruction.

    People really need to catch the excellent, mind blowing, informative documentary on PBS. African Americans, Many Rivers to Cross. When you do, you will see many of the things that have been happening since November 2008 are the same exact things that happened back then.

    March 17, 2014 09:08 am at 9:08 am |
  17. Winning

    I'm unhappy with Obama, but the only thing this ad does is remind me how much I despise the GOP.

    March 17, 2014 09:17 am at 9:17 am |
  18. Tampa Tim

    With the "suppress the vote" efforts in the red states and WI, OH, PA, and MI, the GOBaggers still don't think they can win?

    March 17, 2014 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  19. Alan S.

    It would be great for once the News report the "Whole Story". It's not the RNC that is running all these ads, it's the criminal KOCH BROS. who should be in GITMO for selling equipment to Iran. They have repeatedly paid off Congress everytime they have been caught breaking the law. It's time their money cannot buy their lies to the American public and the News organizations must stand up against them, not be the cowards that they have been to date!

    March 17, 2014 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  20. James Hall

    If your friends and neighbors are idiots then they are not the best way to learn about anything.

    March 17, 2014 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  21. Rudy NYC

    It seems that Republicans will just never get it. Do they seriously think showing a black woman in what appears to be upscale suburbia somewhere will connect with most minority voters? Yeah, folks. It seems that they actually do believe it. This ad is proof positive of just how out of touch they are.

    They're getting their message out. Gooooood. Even more people will get to hear it. Gooooood. And even more people will get completely turned off by their message. "Who are these people?" They act like their message is like some sort of addictive drug or something. Just give it one good honest try, and BAM you're hooked into conservatism for life.

    March 17, 2014 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  22. Michael MN

    Still waiting for there answer to not having the tax payer pay for the uninsured

    In case anyone doesn't know going to the ER getting treated with no way to pay is not free – we all end up paying the cost

    March 17, 2014 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  23. Anonymous

    @ R. A.

    "Well, this should be a fun election. The DNC seems to hope to repeat its success in using Obama's race as a bludgeon"

    Nah. It is the RNC that has the race issue going.

    March 17, 2014 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  24. rs

    Want to bet the GOP had to hire minority actors to "play" their minority members?

    March 17, 2014 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  25. kurt

    Odd. Where were the black/hispanic/asian/young/female republicans saying:

    "I'm for citizenship checks for those police think 'look like their immigrants'."
    "I'm for kicking all the dang illegals out of the country."
    "I'm for laws that allow people who are scared of black teenagers to shoot them if they're frightened."
    "I'm for the belief that you can't get pregnant from legitimate rape."
    "I'm for the belief that if you're raped, that's what god wanted."

    Oh... wait. I guess that would defeat the purpose of the advertisements... even though those are actual GOP positions.

    March 17, 2014 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
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