In today’s politics driven by emotion and image, there is a mistake that a politician MUST not make if he is to be taken seriously. And Pence just made it.
We all understand that political ads are designed to generate the appearance of authenticity in a staged environment. But the key to that approach is the trade secret of every social media ‘influencer’: NEVER get caught faking the funk.
Then along comes Mike Pence with his ‘I’m just a regular guy pumping gas’ schtick. We all know it’s every bit as staged as those commercials where Kristi Noem is pretending to be a welder or a dentist.
The difference is, Noem’s ads are meant to be a joke. Mike’s commercials are manufactured authenticity. Mike gassing up his truck, just like so many other guys named Mike out there might be doing. It’s a context that’s undergirding the relatability of a political message. So he has to get it right.
In the latest commercial, Mike steps out of his truck, grabs the pump, holds the handle, and talks to the camera in the few moments it takes to fill his truck.
As plans go, not so bad. Most of us can relate to standing next to the car waiting for the tank to fill. And it highlights a deeply-felt problem with the Biden administration: gas prices.
Here’s the commercial. See if you can spot what went wrong in it:
There isn’t anything wrong with the writing, really.
“Remember $2 gas? I do. Then Biden became president.”
The problem is the details. The execution.
Did you notice the beeping that kept going through the entire video? That was the reminder notice the pump gives to tell the user that they haven’t yet chosen what grade of gas to pump.
In other words, he was squeezing the handle and ‘pumping’ gas, even though the pump wasn’t on.
What happens when social media catches someone being fake?
Here’s one example of many:
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