The internet destroys College Republican National Committee 'Say yes to dress' ads | Arkansas Blog

Thursday, October 2, 2014

The internet destroys College Republican National Committee 'Say yes to dress' ads

Posted By on Thu, Oct 2, 2014 at 12:56 PM


So it turns out that Brittney, the undecided voter/bride-to-be who thinks "the Asa Hutchinson" dress is "perfect," feels the same about "The Rick Snyder," "The Tom Corbett" and two other dresses. The Asa Hutchinson spot we wrote about yesterday is part of a cookie-cutter ad that's part of a $1 million digital campaign by the College Republican National Committee that will run across 16 states. Ozark native Skot Covert is the national co-chair of the CRNC. Yesterday, he tweeted: "CRNC talking to young voters using pop culture oriented language in mediums in which the consume information. Dem panic ensues."

Panic is not the word I'd use. "Baffled outrage" seems more on point. A sampling of the internet's response:

From Erin Anders, chair of Young Democrats of Arkansas Women's Caucus:

"Healthcare, equal pay, education, domestic violence, and raising the minimum wage barely scrape the surface of what is important to women in Arkansas today and yet, Asa seems to think the best way to win a woman's vote is through comparing the election to buying a wedding dress? This is offensive, sexist, and shows an extreme disconnect with the people of the state he is running to govern. We understand what is at stake in this election, and it is incredibly disturbing to be reminded that a man running to be our governor doesn't seem to be able to grasp that we are just as capable of understanding the real issues as men. We want a governor who stands for protecting the Private Option, ensuring equal pay for equal work, and increasing access to Pre-K, not a man who thinks the best way to a woman's vote is through sparkly dresses."

From The Guardian:

It’s incredibly offensive, to be sure – as if women can only understand politics, or voting, if you dress them up in reality TV – but it’s sort of difficult to be outraged while you’re busy laughing at how pathetic these Republican get-out-the-vote ads have become.

From New York Magazine:

The ads are meant to pander to young voters by capturing their attention in a "culturally relevant way," which in this example means recasting tired tropes in a political context so that the presumably dumb millennial women who watch TLC's wedding shows will, like, totally vote for Rick Scott. Young people — especially women, since the viewership of Say Yes to the Dress is overwhelmingly female — simply cannot figure out who to vote for unless it's filtered through reality show taglines. ("I fought too hard for this Zip code's voters to go home now.")

From Slate:

It's cute that the Republicans who created this ad think young women are still getting married! Hopefully it will be a smashing success, leading us to the next one, where Brittany has to decide between two cupcakes, one called "the Scott Walker" and the other "the Mary Burke." Just remember, only one tastes good if you're considering an abortion!

From Jezebel:

RNC doesn't seem to understand that the dress they're trying to present to audiences as appealing is the ugliest effing wedding dress I have ever seen. It could not be more Florida if it were getting arrested for pooping in a ball pit while high on meth, or drunk and pregnant and crashing a go-kart through a Senor Frogs. The Charlie Crist dress just needs a little tailoring, and it could be incredibly elegant and flattering.

From Bloomberg View:

Making cookie-cutter ads is just asking for trouble. ... It's a classic example of the way elections are conducted in the U.S.: Candidates' campaign organizations are seemingly in charge, but decentralized party and quasi-party organizations step in and help — or embarrass — them.

Most campaign professionals learned the lesson 30 years ago. Cookie-cutter ads were used and perceived to succeed for Republicans in the 1980 cycle, Democrats fought back by ridiculing them in 1982. Today's College Republicans probably weren’t born yet.

And some headlines:

Time: "This Is the Most Sexist Republican Ad of the Year"

Cosmopolitan: "Is This the Most Condescending Political Ad Ever?"

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