Former Dollar General CEO David Perdue surprised the political world on Tuesday night, eking out a win over establishment favorite Rep. Jack Kingston for the Republican Senate nod in Georgia.
The key to that victory was how Perdue effectively leveraged his outsider status -- this is his first run for elected office -- to capitalize on the public's distaste with business as usual in Washington. And that all began with his first TV ad -- called "The Outsider."
The ad, which was made by Fred Davis, became the talk of the political world in Georgia because, well, who doesn't identify with crying babies? In 30 seconds, it not only gave every voter a memorable metaphor for how politicians in Washington were acting (badly) but looked and sounded different than everything else that was out there. In an age in which political ads never really stop and fast-forwarding through commercials is all the rage, making commercials that stand out is the coin of the realm. This one did it.
Patricia Murphy, a Democratic strategist with deep roots in Georgia politics and now a columnist for the Daily Beast, tweeted this in the wake of Perdue's runoff victory on Tuesday:
I cannot count how many Ga voters told me David Perdue's baby ads were part of why they voted for him. pic.twitter.com/62U6e0bS2G
— Patricia Murphy (@1PatriciaMurphy) July 23, 2014
That single ad set the tone for the entire primary and runoff campaign. And it is one of the main reasons -- along with the several million dollars of his own money he put into the race -- that Perdue is the Republican Senate nominee today.