In Part 1, we covered the controversy swirling around American Sniper, a well-made movie being seen by millions of Americans, that portrays the Iraq War as something noble, fought by good men. It’s driving progressives crazy. See American Sniper Sniped: Why Hollywood Lefties Hate Eastwood’s Movie
In Part 2, we talked about emotion and how afraid conservatives are to deal with emotion and why we might be afraid to deal with it. See Stone Cold Conservative: Sweet Emotion Wins Hearts to Cause of Liberty
Part 3 is a “members only ” video production by PJTV, so I cannot post it here. I will, however, give you the gist of it, accompanied by supporting visuals.
The Trifecta panel takes a very specific example to show you the power of emotion and story, costume, design, dance, music – all of these things to achieve something very simple. We can extrapolate from there.
The example video was seen by Bill Whittle the first time he ever flew on Virgin America Airlines. He was taking a red-eye flight, and he was impressed by the beautiful lighting, modern design, groovy jazz playing – so much so that he said it was almost as if he was entering an exclusive nightclub in L.A. or New York. He said that the second he walked into the airplane, he thought “This is cool”. The experience didn’t stop there. Virgin America spent a lot of money to produce their in-flight safety video. We’ve all seen them, right? This is an example of the genius of Virgin America, and the genius of using emotion, and effects, and story.
Bill said he saw the video on the plane, and when he got home five hours later, the first thing he did (after feeding his cats) was to go to YouTube to watch it again. He had a realization: He couldn’t wait to see this video again, because it piqued his interest, and what was he watching? He was watching the most boring information on the face of the earth, and was eager to watch the most boring information on planet earth that he had seen 300 times before on airplanes, and zoned out every one of those prior experiences. What is the point here? This video has been watched more than 10 million times on YouTube. If people willingly watch how to fasten a seat belt and how to inflate a life vest, what does that say about the packaging? What happens when you put something inside packaging like that?
Steve Green pointed out that he has been covering Obamacare since 2009, and hasn’t seen the GOP, or any of its major representatives, feature an entrepreneur who is trying to grow his business, and is holding steady at 49 employees because he can’t afford that 50th. He hasn’t seen the fast food worker who got his hours cut to 29 hours a week because that is the only way his employer can afford to keep him on, and now he is juggling two part-time jobs. We haven’t seen these people, or heard them tell their stories. Why haven’t we? If we can be enthralled by a video of people snapping buckles in airline seats, certainly there are great stories to be told here … only nobody is telling them.
Bill said that we are seen as such an obsolete movement because we are so old, or at least we appear so old to young people. There are men and women who make conservatism intelligent (Thomas Sowell), and others make conservatism funny, but nobody is making conservatism sexy. If you don’t think sex sells, then you haven’t been watching tv. Why can’t our ideas be sexy? If its about the packaging, and you can put anything in the package, what about freedom and liberty and the ability to go out and lead your life, and hit the open road, and fire big guns and drive fast cars? Don’t you find that sexy? I find that very sexy, personally.
Scott Ott said that sexy isn’t the first word that would have leaped into his Amish mind, but yeah, he understands what Bill is saying. There is a wild and free aspect to being a conservative (or a Republican or libertarian, or whatever you want to categorize it as), that we are clearly not capturing. Scott contends that Barack Obama is President of the United States because of will.i.am. If you haven’t seen the will.i.am “Yes We Can” video, with all those stars putting then Senator Obama’s speech to music – He watched that thing one time, and yelled into the other room to his wife, “Stephanie, come in here. You’ve got to see this.”
[Scott says “… this video was directed by Bob Dylan’s son, Jesse, and the Obama quotes are from his concession speech in the New Hampshire primary. Talk about polishing a … well, never mind.”]
This video has more than 25,000,000 YouTube views.
Scott says that he knew at that moment that Obama was going to be POTUS, and when you think about it, we had John McCain. John McCain was flying a jet and got shot down and parachuted into the water and was kept as a prisoner of war! Bill interjects – it was Top Gun – He was Tom Cruz, and the guy from Unbroken, and somehow we failed to tell that!
Scott said that Mitt Romney saved the fricking Olympics. I mean, this guy was incredible, and somehow we have some little documentary at the convention stating the bare bone facts; eg “John McCain was a prisoner of war in Vietnam”. Then they go on to discuss policies. Snooze fest.
Bill: Mitt Romney is a very handsome man, and they dress him in a checkered shirt and he looks like your Uncle Joe from HeeHaw. And his hair is styled and slicked down. Mess up his hair!
Back to the Virgin America video. This is a safety video for an airplane, and these people are having fun! And they are sexy, and they’re young and they’re gorgeous, they’re multi-cultural and they’re having a good time! When I watch this video it makes me want to get on an airplane and fly with these people. It’s a blast.
So, how do we apply this kind of thing to our political messaging?
One quick example. Here’s how I would do it if I had the budget:
If you want to get people to think about things differently, what I would do, on a set like that, surrounded by a cast like that, I would have George Washington. He’s be 35 years old, he’d have the powdered wig, he’d have the tri-cornered hat, he’d have the waistcoat, he’d have the musket, he’d have the leggings, all that other stuff.
And I’d be deep in the background behind a microphone, and I’d say, I know you think George Washington looks like this, but George Washington sent a letter to London during the Revolutionary War, saying “I would like to purchase four waistcoats in the latest fashion, in the most popular colors with buttons as ornate as they can be without appearing ostentatious.” Because George Washington was the best-dressed man on planet Earth.
And at that point, three of those gorgeous dancers would walk up to that man, and they would rip his costume off, they would knock his hat off, tear his wig off, and I’d have a 6’4” 35-year-old buff gorgeous man, a really ripped guy, standing there in boxer briefs, and then I would have these dancers put him into a Hermes shirt, and an Armani suit, beautiful leather shoes on his feet, have them mess up his hair, toss him an AR15, have him rack it and turn on the laser target designator, ‘cause that’s who George Washington is.
If George Washington was here today, that is what he would look like, because he was money. You do something like that, with those kind of dancers, and you start showing the American people that George Washington was a powerful man who declined a kingship. That’s how people should look at George Washington. All of a sudden, we’re in this game.
Watch the Virgin America video on YouTube. We’ve got a lot of work to do.
Don’t miss this, either: Stories Liberals Tell: How Conservatives Can Win Back The Country
We need more creative thinkers like Clint Eastwood and Bill Whittle, and conservatives who will listen to them. Remember this?