Clearly Americans for Prosperity has been doing their deep-values research. Because the innovative video they released Friday, “The Dinner Table,” hits exactly the right emotions in a remarkably effective piece depicting the traditional family dinner table scene.

Only in this new American scene, not a word is spoken, and the tension is palpable as the family pushes their food around their plates in awkward silence.

AFP has hit on the nose because the scene we see doesn’t push numbers or policies on us, but presents a clear and sad picture of a new way of American life. The colors and tone evokes the sadness, tension, and frustration of not only the parents but the children in the scene. The children, almost afraid to say a word, tug at the heart strings of all parents who would seek to shield their children from the trauma of economic hardship. The father appears to feel the weight of the world as he makes his way through the dinner and the mother’s sadness is equally poignant.

What AFP has achieved is the translation of facts and figures through emotional story-telling. It is the type of direction only deep-values research, which charts emotions that Americans feel rather than surface-level reactions of poll data and focus groups, gives best:

The video, which has already received over 300,000 views over the weekend, ends simply with the text, “12.1 million Americans unemployed. It’s time to try something different.”

AFP’s video provides a mark for all those seeking to market political ideas effectively. Concentrate on the emotion, do your marketing research, and the facts fall into place.


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