RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — A series of bold, new ads are using sarcasm and racial undertones to urge more people to get out and vote this November.
They’re a bit snarky, funny and supposed to make people think. For instance, one of the ads pokes fun at self-absorbed women focused on perfecting their selfie.
“Look at this filter, oh that’s so good,” a woman says to her friends. A man approaches the ladies and asks, “Have you all made plans to vote in November?”
When they tell the man they’re not voting, he calls the cops.
“Triple selfie in progress, they’re using filters, emojis, the same picture over and over again wearing pajamas and they literally have no plans of voting in November,” the man tells dispatch in the ad.
Another video ad calls out a hipster in skinny jeans too consumed with his coffee to vote.
“Hmm, the coffee here sucks,” says the hipster.
In walks a woman to challenge him. She says, “You know what else sucks Todd? Voter suppression.”
The video ads are popping up on Facebook, Instragram and Twitter.
“There is a higher bar to get people’s attention online in particular,” explained Tara McGowan, the founder of ACRONYM, the non-profit behind the digital ads, which are also flipping the racial script.
The videos feature black people calling the cops on white people.
“911, I would like to report a suburban educated white woman. They’re talking about not voting.”
McGowan says the bold “knock out the vote” ads are meant to push the envelope and get young people to vote.
“We want to create ads that really grabbed people’s attention from the beginning and evoked emotion in them,” McGowan explained.
Professor Caley Cantrell with VCU’s Brandcenter believes the ads can be effective, but wonders if they will speak to their target audience.
“They are fun to watch, they are quick, probably get play on social, but will some millennials say that’s still not who we are?” Cantrell questioned. “I think that they depicted millennials in a stereotypical way, you know? The skinny jeans, the beard and knit hat. Funny, but that is not what every millennial looks like.”
Acronym using digital data to track the ads and so far, they say the feedback has been positive with the videos getting lots of shares.