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GOP’s Hipster Republican Ad Falls Embarrassingly Short

When the Obama administration gave us Pajama Boy last year the conservative Twittersphere exploded with sarcasm and merciless ridicule. The hot chocolate sipping hipster perfectly embodied the disconnect between an administration that prides itself on being “cool” and the millennials they desperately need to court in order to make Obamacare viable.

Republicans have also been exploring how to attract the millennial vote and in a somewhat misguided attempt have given us their own version of Pajama Boy, only this hipster may even be worse.

Meet Scott Greenburg. Scott by all evidence is responsible for this video series (there is more than one). Scott is also a millennial. You know this from the hipster facial hair and glasses. Scott speaks to the camera while pumping gas and calmly complaining about the economy and unemployment.

Greenburg’s wooden delivery and vague pronouncements don’t help what is already a lackluster attempt at explaining the Republican platform to the young, post-college generation. Did he even learn his lines?

Liberal outlets are having the same kind of fun with Hipster Republican that conservatives had with Pajama Boy. Gawker had this to say about the ad:

Here are the hardships in Scott Greenberg’s life:

  • His Audi needs gas.
  • The house he just bought in the DC metro area, that hipster haven, is covered in snow.
  • His house appears to be a fair distance from his one-man marketing firm’s glass-and-steel office in DC’s NoMa district. (Hey, create some jobs already, you small-business slacker.)
  • He probably worked really hard after law school at his glossy magazine job “during Mercedes Benz swim week and independent gallery and fashion shows throughout Miami Beach and the design district.”
  • He and his wife must have had sleepless nights trying to figure out what to say while chilling with the Fabulous Beekman Boys

…[An] old donor wants to see some youth outreach, and the RNC finds Scott, a young Beltway acolyte to provide them with a simulacrum of youth culture for a couple of shekels. We have the horn-rimmed glasses! The pomaded hair! A brick tenement across a city street! Talk of money problems and friends!

I appreciate the attempt from the GOP. It shows they are at least willing to move into new waters, but this is not the way to convince millennials you have a message they want to hear. The GOP is already up against enormous odds when it comes to their public image aided by the media. They’ll have to do much better than, as one friend called it “Pajama Boy’s tightwad husband”.

I hate to have to say it but this is lame.

A few suggestions for the GOP if they want to continue in this vein:

  1. Never, ever hire anyone inside the Beltway. D.C. culture lacks a healthy perspective on the rest of America and it shows in offerings like this.
  2. The formerly secret conservative Hollywood group Friends of Abe is packed with artists, directors, actors and writers many of whom have won Oscars, Grammys and Emmys. They too wish to see the GOP change its public image a bit and they know how to do it. Public image is their livelihood after all. Tap those people and let them do what they do best.
  3. Think outside the box. Some people photoshopped Ted Cruz onto some iconic images and the result was a completely organic viral campaign that reached tens of thousands of people without one major ad buy in the entire country.

There is no way to completely avoid the ridicule of the other side. Its kind of the name of the game, but we can take away some of their most potent pop culture ammunition by using the tools we already have…and using them well.

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