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For when I need more than 140 characters to finish a thought on marketing, media or message.

What’s wrong with the RGA’s ‘ 14 Weeks’

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The Republican Governors Association’s Remember November campaign is expanding as a video now called “14 Weeks” makes the rounds on the conservatives sites. (It seems to be a reissue, according the YouTube timestamp and different title, “America’s Comeback.”)

The ad is compelling as hell with a sweeping score reminiscent of a Hans Zimmer soundtrack and a slick montage of notable Democratic soundbites infused with hefty reminders of the administration’s more unpopular policies.


 
The RGA is going after the party faithful, the party weary, and the coveted independents (there’s a plea to the “humanity’s best asset: the individual citizens”), and although they may appeal to the first, they fail in their efforts to reach the latter.

Blame it on bad editing: If the video ended at 1:45 — after a startling compilation of good ol’ fashioned idiocy that outrages across party lines and beyond (“We have to pass the bill so we can find out what’s in it,” Mme. Speaker Pelosi, D-Calif.)  — then maybe the RGA might have changed a few minds, won a few hearts.

Sadly, the video doesn’t end there. Seconds before it launches into a rallying cry urging voters to stand for what they believe in and to “be the change,” it segues into a drum-pounding, flag-waving series of images that smacks of dime-store patriotism. We hear from Newt Gingrich, get a glimpse of MLK and an astronaut, and even Teddy Roosevelt. Then there’s a nostalgic cameo of Ronnie, which will surely get the hearts of Reagan Republicans racing, but really, how does this appeal to the younger independents? The ones too young to remember his accomplishments in office? (Forgive me: I’ve little faith in public schools. Or private.) Reagan’s legacy has been corrupted outside the history books in recent years:  He was an actor; he had Alzheimer’s. Younger voters might not understand that he is considered by some to be one of recent history’s great leaders. Simply put: Reagan is an old image for older people.

Over in the far-from-inspirational-leader category, we see peeps of Bobby Jindal throughout the video. The young Louisiana governor may be a very nice guy, but c’mon: He’s about as inspirational as a corndog. (I know he’s being groomed, but the GOP needs to save itself some party funds and stop that train to nowhere now.) If Jindal is what the GOP is using to court the younger vote, God help them.

In a mere two minutes and 46 seconds, the video perfectly illustrates what’s wrong with the GOP: It is at times convincing, but then it collapses on itself, buckling under an arrogant and unwavering partisanship that evokes administrations of old. Just like Democrats and nutty (capital L) Libertarians, they alienate a silent majority that simply wants to live, work, and spend freely, and — ridiculous, I know — see their elected officials serve the public’s best interest without taxing us all to death and into the hereafter.

Kudos.

Next up: The Democrats. I’m sure their marketing powers will find new and improved ways to nauseate voters like never before. For the record: The Tea Partiers aren’t safe, either. And if I surf long enough, I’m sure I’ll run across some nutjob Libertarian babblings at some point.

ED’S NOTE: This analysis reflects my interest in advertising as a marketing student. The opinions expressed here are mine and in no way reflect the opinions of my employers.

Author: Jacqui Barrineau

Jacqui Barrineau is a writer and editor who lives in the suburbs of Washington, D.C., with husband Trey, a Shetland Sheepdog, and two unhelpful-but-funny cats. Her work has appeared in "So to Speak" and "Calliope," and she's a regular contributor to the flash-fiction sites Paragraph Planet and Doorknobs & Bodypaint. Once upon a time, she was the audience engagement editor at USA Today. Now she does other fun things that involve advertising, marketing and social media. The views expressed here and in other outlets are hers, not her employers'. Outside of work, she's proud to serve on the Northern Virginia Community College Marketing Advisory Committee. As a committee member, she joins industry leaders in lending their knowledge and expertise to ensure the college's Marketing curriculum is relevant and responsive to the needs of the students and the surrounding business communities.

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