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

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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, 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. Ali

    So because you hire an African American, aisan American and Hispanic American you will get my vote. The policy of top 1% is still the same. The Tea Party was created and funded by top 1% like the billionaire brothers. So ask yourself who's fighting for you? And asked yourself what has the republicans accomplish in the last 4years that they had controlled of the house instead of attacking this President from day 1. I can assure you as long as the Ted Cruz is running the republican party with the backing of the knoch brothers, i'll never vote for them. My vote is not for sell. Good luck!

    March 17, 2014 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  2. G

    the trickle down folks ,want to get back on the bridge to nowhere -bailouts -trillion dollar wars -oil spills- the never ending story in republican tea land

    March 17, 2014 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  3. Anonymous

    "This ad won’t help to win African – American, Asian- American, Hispanic and Yong Voters."

    No it won't. But it does prove how pathetic the RNC has become with its blatant pandering. Rail against people and stop them from voting in one day and beg them to vote republican the next day. Ask yourself what message the RNC is sending to the very same people they've ridiculed for the past 6 years. It sounds condescending at the very least and devoid of even the most minimal understanding of who it is they are speaking to.

    March 17, 2014 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  4. kurt

    “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.”

    They will have to pass increased cost onto those who are buying their products and services. But the percentage is small. Studies (by those same economists) show that DOUBLING the minimum wage would cause the cost of fast food (a minimum wage intensive industry) to go up about 15%. So you dollar menu item will now cost $1.15.


    March 17, 2014 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  5. Tampa Tim

    I still have difficulty figuring out why repubes do not want people to pay for their insurance and have access to healthcare. 45,000 die each year without access to healthcare. I know the GOP does not like seniors, veterans, minorities, students, women, workers, but, to go after people with pre existing conditions is UnAmerican.

    March 17, 2014 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  6. Ron in SC

    What do they have to appeal to Democratic voters with? Lets see……racism…no….lies and dishonesty….no….using religion to sell their unchristian beliefs….no….selling the middle class down the river…no….trying to take away unemployment, food stamps, education, healthcare from millions of Americans that need it….no…hummm, I guess the GOP/Tea Party hasn't got anything to offer.

    March 17, 2014 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  7. Tony

    This is the Republican pitch to unhappy Obama voters: Republicans are for your American dream, as long as you don't ask them how, you don't ask them for help, and you don't expect any help from them.

    March 17, 2014 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  8. Rudy NYC

    Tampa Tim

    I still have difficulty figuring out why repubes do not want people to pay for their insurance and have access to healthcare. 45,000 die each year without access to healthcare. I know the GOP does not like seniors, veterans, minorities, students, women, workers, but, to go after people with pre existing conditions is UnAmerican.
    One word. Greed. Greed. Greed. It's all about the money. It always has been, and it always will be. None of the right wing's policies and positions make any moral or logical sense. But, if you consider that everything is a smoke screen to cover the real goal of reducing taxes for the wealthy, then it all makes sense.

    Why no mandated health care? Because it cuts into the short tem bottom line.
    Wny no minimum wage increase? Because it cuts into the short term bottom line.

    There are people out there who take offense at having to pay any taxes. They see programs that help others that they look down upon as a waste of THEIR money. If what they say and do makes no sense, then just remember it's all about greed.

    March 17, 2014 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
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