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AFP’s Dinner Table video a punch in Obama’s gut

AFP’s Dinner Table video a punch in Obama’s gut

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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legacyrepublican | October 9, 2012 at 12:30 pm

The son not making eye contact with anyone and the little girl looking up towards her dad with sad eyes is compelling too.

When I saw it I had chills running down my spine and tears nearly coming out of my eyes.

This ranks up there with the A-Bomb ad by Pres. Johnson.

And if you look closely, it looks like the main course is cottage cheese with a side of salad. I’d say they’ve conveyed in image exactly the struggle the middle class is experiencing with the pretender in the White House.

Everyone can see themselves sitting somewhere at that table. Its devastating.

I would have added the wife concluding it with a statement, such as “Maybe, tomorrow. Maybe, tomorrow.” Nevertheless, it’s a pain that’s felt daily around the country. Maybe, come November 6. Maybe.


KUDOS FOR THE GUT PUNCH! Brilliantly done.

Note: It was wise, even Prescient, for the inspired creators to COMPEL US TO “FILL IN THE BLANKS”; “SUGGEST OUR OWN DIALOGUE”; ENGAGE IN EXPANDED DISCUSSION OF TOPIC.

Inspired media; truth in film; “it’s got legs”

ROMNEY & RYAN WIN BIG…in less than one (1) month.
Soon we count days, then hours, and then…VICTORY FOR AMERICA. Thank You Almighty God!

Wow, that is powerful.

Nothing scares me more than the thought of failing as a father. It kills me that I’ve never been able to afford a house with a yard for my children.

To think of not being able to find work and not being able to provide even the simplest luxuries for your children is just a stinging indictment of this president.

That is just a haunting 30 seconds.

I was out of work for four months once. I was having Cream of Wheat three times a day toward the end of that, even after starting to sell furniture and other personal possessions trying to come up with some funds. The difference is that I was single then. I can’t even imagine the anguish of being a father who’s been out of work so long he can’t even provide a decent meal for his wife or children.

This commercial is like a mini-movie. The family is trying to hold onto normalcy by still having a formal dinner time. The mom has done her best to make something that looks like an actual meal with a bread, a salad, and a “main course”, the cottage cheese. The children, not happy with what they’ve been given but who know better than to say anything. And the dad, who is feeling more like he’s failed his family and is feeling it more by the moment. All for reasons outside his ready ability to control. He’s not being depicted as a drug addict or a drunk. He hasn’t abandoned his family. He’s not being abusive. He’s just a victim, for now, of Obama’s experiment with a Socialist economy.

Just devastating.

Henry Hawkins | October 9, 2012 at 1:21 pm

Initially Rockwellian, but no….

Impressive ad.

I guess it’s effective, or has its place. Just not my style or preferred form of political engagement. Bowed heads and forlorn looks do not embody the American spirit to me. It seems such a shame we’re all stricken into silence when it comes to calling out the Left, or must employ such oblique strategies. There is so much to say, so much truth to tell. This is a fight, not a dispatch from the trenches of a lost war in which our best entreaty is “time for something different.”

    Subotai Bahadur in reply to raven. | October 9, 2012 at 1:58 pm

    The fact that it is against the American Spirit is exactly why it hits so hard. The internal enemies of our country have reduced so many Americans to this level. And we do not want any more to be so reduced. And we want to help him and his family. It yields anger, and aims it at our enemies.

    I know that this is an AFP ad and not an official campaign ad. But if someone in the Romney campaign has half a lick of sense, they would get this on national TV in prime time. This would permanently undercut whatever series of statistical lies the regime puts out about how things are getting better. It focuses the mind comparing what people see in their own lives and the lives of those they know -v- what the government lie of the moment says. It puts Obama directly into the “What are you going to believe, me or your lying eyes?” trap.

    Subotai Bahadur

    Catherine in reply to raven. | October 9, 2012 at 1:59 pm

    There are a lot of Obama voters out there who are suffering in silence. It is still popular to be an Obama voter. A gentle approach to convincing voters to give Romney a chance may be more effective than a tough approach. Luckily, any given person’s vote is a secret.

      raven in reply to Catherine. | October 9, 2012 at 2:17 pm

      Good point, and if that’s true I’m delighted. My preferences are confrontational and sanguinary. That is, Breitbartian. I wouldn’t last long as a political consultant.

It’s very well done and seems like it should be effective. However, I wonder if political ads in general are as effective as they used to be. Seems like people (at least those people who are persuadable to begin with) are a lot more broadly informed and therefore less likely to base their voting decisions on the candidates’ ads.

For example, it seems like a waste of money for Obama to run those ads with Andrea Mitchell supposed calling BS on one of Romney’s claims. That might have worked a generation ago with Walter Cronkite, but how many people these days really trust what a MSM stalwart like Mitchell says just because it is she saying it?

    Neo in reply to Conrad. | October 9, 2012 at 1:42 pm

    After watching Howard Stern’s street interviews where not one interviewee protested when they identified Paul Ryan as Obama’s black VP, called Obama a Mormon, and Mitt a Muslim, I tend to doubt just how informed the electorate is.

      ALman in reply to Neo. | October 9, 2012 at 1:55 pm

      What’s the call-up routine that Glenn Beck does? I’m not a regular listener, yet there have been a couple of times he and his crew were asking a set of questions. The responses were astounding. For example, who’s Joe Biden, spell “debt”, e.g.

      Conrad in reply to Neo. | October 9, 2012 at 2:12 pm

      I agree there’s that element, too, but I’m not sure how much of a target audience they comprise for anybody’s political ads.

      The segment of the population I was thinking about is middle class people with at least some college education. I would think that THOSE people are generally more astute today than their counterparts of 40 years ago would have been, just based on the much more intense information bombardment we experience today compared to the 1970s.

      Maybe what’s happening is that the country is just becoming more intellectually polarized, with, for example, the stupidiest 1/5 becoming more stupid over time while the smartest 1/5 are becoming smarter.

9thDistrictNeighbor | October 9, 2012 at 1:38 pm

Look at them. They’re all like Obama: their heads down, not knowing what to say or do….

Empty chair brings empty plates to the dinner table.

Sure hope this is being broadcast in Ohio, or anywhere.

I labelled this brutal when I first saw it. Someone else chose grim. I think grim is the better description. The daisy ad, Willie Horton, bear in the woods, now this. Not a word spoken…brilliant. Each unemployed family can fill in their own dialogue. This is actually painful to watch. Simply brilliant.

    NC Mountain Girl in reply to windbag. | October 9, 2012 at 3:02 pm

    The best political ads have always been long on memorable images and very short on words. My all time favorite ad skewered Clinton’s 1993 version of the 2009 stimulus bill with images that still cause me to smile. Anyone remember midnight basketball as crime prevention? The ad showed a frail old lady giving dance lessons to beefy tattooed bikers in toe shoes with a cop reduced to serving as a metronome -beating his nightstick into his gloved hand in time to the waltz. Then there was Jesse Ventura in body paint posed as Rodin’s The Thinker. Again no words needed. The humor helped underscore his surprisingly strong debate performance in a way voters were unlikely to forget.

Listen closely and you can hear the rain. Awesome.

This is what Barrack Obama Superstar has wrought.

Excellent ad. It touches all the right emotions and sends a chilling message that isn’t easily forgotten.

NC Mountain Girl | October 9, 2012 at 2:40 pm

The soundtrack is perfection itself. Not only does rain that can be heard inside through closed windows and drawn drapes reinforce the message that America is in a really bad storm, but the lack of words actually forces people to look up and watch. Think about it. When a show goes into an ad wells a lot of us look away from the TV. We are used to hearing lots of talking and music in ads followed by a network intro that draws our attention back to the show. If instead you hear something almost akin to static from your TV set you automatically look up to see if you lost the signal and then get drawn into the little drama. Thus this ad is likely to cut through the clutter of all the cookie cutter attack ads featuring narration over stock images now inundating the airwaves in swing states.

Henry Hawkins | October 9, 2012 at 2:40 pm

Rather than just another in-your-face political ad, it takes a few seconds for the viewer to get the gist of what’s going on, at which point a certain poignancy takes over. Quiet, affecting, innovative… a very good ad.

Is this being run on TV anywhere, or is it just on You-Tube?

I’d actually dip into my meager savings to help finance some air-time for this devastating ad.

    NC Mountain Girl in reply to barbara. | October 9, 2012 at 3:11 pm

    AFP is associated with the eeeeevillll Koch brothers. They announced a 25$ million ad buy in key states way back in August so I assume this is being aired.

The actor playing the father plays angst better than any Academy Award winner. Kudos to the ad agency who conceived this and the casting director.

It is absolutely chilling.

I was out of work from December 7, 2011 til March 12, 2012. I lost my job thanks to Congress not passing a budget and choosing to force Obamacare down our throats. Shakespeare made antennas for the US military and because of the automatic cuts to the military they cancelled all antenna orders December 1. A week later 30 of us that were in the antenna division were called into the conference room and informed that we were being laid off. My family was that family…….I went thru counseling in February thanks to my worries of the future. I know that silence, the anguish, the wounded sense of worth. There were 29 others in that room that day. There were many more before us, and many more after we got laid off…all across the USA. What kills me is little pricks like Matt Taibbi wondering aloud “why is Mitt Romney still in this?” Yes, we will remember in November.

nordic_prince | October 9, 2012 at 6:26 pm

Tammy Duckworth and Joe Walsh are duking it out in the Land of Lincoln. But Duckworth is such a moron – she actually stated that she thought we here in the 8th CD are better off than we were four years ago. Either she’s a liar, or she needs a clue by four like this ad to lop her upside the head.

Joe Walsh gets it, but with Duckworth’s money machine, Walsh is fighting an uphill battle, I’m afraid.