Vincent Harris Quoted on Rand Paul Advertising
Digital Ads Sell Candidates and Causes, in 15-Second Bursts
Days after announcing his presidential bid, Senator Rand Paul, Republican of Kentucky, tried a quirky approach to skipable online video, first popularized by Geico. His campaign released a 15-second YouTube ad that began with an unlikely, and direct, appeal: “Please don’t skip this video,” Mr. Paul says. “We must take our country back.”
Another video — released on Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and YouTube — featured Mr. Paul taking a chain saw and a wood chipper to the tax code, and underscored the new role of online advertising, both as a growth area for politics and a virtual sandbox for experimentation and even playfulness.
“It was unique, it was riveting, and the actual content wasn’t a normal boring political spot,” said Vincent Harris, Mr. Paul’s chief digital strategist. “You don’t often see somebody who is an elected official sitting with a chain saw and a wood chipper and lighting things on fire, so that uniqueness piqued people’s interest.”
“That is part of the blessing and the curse of the actual ad format online,” he added. “If you are not piquing people’s interest, they are just skipping.”