In New Ads, the WE Campaign Turns to a Rancher and Construction Worker as Spokespeople for "Repowering America"

In two new TV advertisements, the We campaign is back on message (after one major stumble), framing appeals around the tagline of "Repower America," connecting a focus on clean energy to economic recovery, and using a rancher (above) and a construction worker (below) as spokespeople.

There's a lot to like about these new TV spots, starting with the tagline of "Repower America," a theme that resonates with wider news attention to fixing the country's economy and restoring the nation's sense of pride. Then there's the choice of actors as spokespeople.

The spot above featuring a truck driving rancher could easily be mistaken at first for the ubiquitous Chevy truck commercials. Notice though the messages delivered by the rancher. He focuses on renewable energy in both the context of religion ('killing God's green earth') and national security ("boys in Tehran might not like it.") Consider also that the rancher, the backdrop of windmills, and the closing line of "It's time to get real" are clear connections to the similarly ubiquitous T. Boone Pickens ad campaign.

The spot below featuring a construction worker is first and foremost about jobs, opening with the line "Most people see an old building, I see a new job" and closes with the construction worker's endorsement that re-fitting buildings to be energy efficient is "a great idea, unless you have a problem with creating jobs."

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Th WE campaign is a good thing. I signed on at their website, although I haven't done much besides add my name to couple of petitions they supported to send to elected officials.

There still seems to be this pervasive idea that "real" Americans are white male blue collar workers. We have Joe the Plumber, the archetypical "rancher," and other examples.

OK, ranchers are real Americans too. But so are single moms, Asian-American and Hispanic-Americans and African-Americans, and people who have desk-jobs and whatever else kind of job.

I understand that the WE people are using the strategy of lifting these iconic mantels away from the polluter/war-monger/anti-environment fundamentalists, who have owned these images for decades.

But you know what? I'm every bit as American as that damn rancher, no questions asked.

In fact, in terms of the supporting the principles of the US Constitution, I see myself as a hell of a lot more American than the President or VP we have had for the past eight years, but that's for another topic...

Like yogi-one, I wonder if the first one isn't a bit too heavy on the archetypes. I am Dutch and if there would be a pro-green energy campaign featuring windmills, tulip fields and a farmer on clogs, it would seem strained and fake. I also have my doubts about whether it's prudent to emphasize American-Iranian tensions for an ad campaign.

I think that the rancher spot might be just a bit too cliche-heavy, but it's not bad. And I love the construction worker spot.