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Advertising expert grades new campaign ads in race for governor

Vinny Minchillo explains what the candidates are trying to achieve… and if it’s working.

TEXAS, USA — As we get closer and closer to the November election, if you haven’t already started seeing political ads everywhere, you soon will.

The two candidates for Texas Governor recently released new campaign spots.  So, political advertising expert Vinny Minchillo, principal with the advertising and marketing firm Glass House Strategy out of Plano, joined Inside Texas Politics to discuss both.

And one of the first things Minchillo talked about was how the approaches taken by Greg Abbott and Beto O’Rourke are wildly different.

Minchillo says Governor Abbott’s most recent campaign spot is aimed right at suburban women. 

“So, trying to soften him up with suburban women, which is clearly where is problem is going to be,” the brand expert said on Inside Texas Politics.

Minchillo says the ad doesn’t hit politics hard, but the Republican incumbent is instead trying to reintroduce himself in a state that’s added more than two million new registered voters over the last four years.

“I think his image has hardened over the last few years. So, this is an opportunity for him to come back, soften his image.  Hey look, I worked in a restaurant.  My dad died.  You know, have a little sympathy for me.  And then here’s how I’ve used that to bring opportunity to Texas.  I think opportunity is an important word that he’s going to be saying a lot through the campaign.”

Abbott is expected to launch a new TV ad this week in which he directly attacks his opponent.

On the other hand, Minchillo says Beto O’Rourke has come out swinging and even includes Republicans in one of his spots.  The advertising expert says that’s a great idea because O’Rourke has to give Republicans permission to come across the aisle and vote for Democrats.

“His best issue is going to be abortion,” said Minchillo.  “And for a hardcore Trump Republican, that they’re advertising in this spot, to say you know what, I’m going to go across because I don’t think, you know, his reasoning was not pro-abortion, his reasoning was freedom.  And I think that’s an important thing to say.”

Minchillo says the Democratic challenger is also trying to speak to suburban women, but he does see one small problem with the second of O’Rourke’s ads.

“So, this is all fear and no hope.  So, there’s got to be a little hope, especially if you want to move women voters.  You’ve got to show some light at the end of the tunnel,” he said.

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